The Government is introducing Restricted Building Work (RBW), as a way of ensuring quality building work is being carried out by qualified, experienced professionals.
Consequently, only a Licensed Building Practitioner will be able to carry out, and/or supervise any structural or weathertight work on a property, whether it is a new build or a renovation. Any design work will also need to be done by a Design LBP, a Chartered Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect.
Department of Building and Housing deputy chief executive sector capability Alison Geddes says the Department is expecting a rush of applications early next year.
“I can’t emphasis enough the importance of people getting their applications in as soon as possible,” Ms Geddes says.
“We have already licensed 10,000 trades and aim to have issued another 7000 licenses between now and March 1 next year. That’s a lot to do, and we fully expect a last minute rush which we would really like to avoid if possible.”
RBW only relates to residential construction, alterations and design of houses and small-to-medium sized apartment buildings. It doesn’t apply to any ancillary buildings such garages or garden sheds, or to commercial property.
The type of work which will be restricted includes foundation and sub-floor framing, floors, walls, roofs, columns and beams, bracing, damp-proofing, roof and wall cladding and waterproofing, as well as the design of fire safety systems.
A number of checks have also been built in to the system. For instance, in order to get building consent for Restricted Building Work, the design will need to be carried out or supervised by an LBP, architect or engineer.
Whoever designs the home or renovation needs to provide the owner with a Certificate of Work memorandum that states who did the design, identifies the restricted work, and certifies that the design complies with the Building Code. The home owner must provide this to the local council as part of their building consent application.
Restricted Building Work construction also cannot get underway until the owner has notified the local council of the LBPs who will be carrying out or supervising the work.
Furthermore, once each LBP has completed their part of the RBW (eg, when the roofing LBP has put the roof on), they must give the owner a Record of Work memorandum stating that they had carried out or supervised that part of construction. The home owner must, in turn, provide this to the local council as part of their Code Compliance Certificate application.
Unlicensed tradespeople caught doing RBW risk being fined up to $20,000. Likewise, home owners can also be fined if they are found to have knowingly employed an unlicensed person to carry out RBW.
For further information about LBPs or RBW, visit www.dbh.govt.nz/lbp.