Recently there have been a number of Press articles appearing with regards to fire protection of buildings. Auckland IQP are not subject to any of these investigations, however we offer the following background to recent legislative changes which have highlighted this area of building compliance.
In 2013 the amendments to the Building Act 2004 came into effect. The amendment which has had the biggest change on compliance from the AIQP perspective is that which applies to Fire Separations. The amendment now requires us to investigate and confirm as compliant the fire separations within a building as part of the BWOF process.
Fire Separations for a building are defined within the building Fire Design or Fire Engineer’s report. As a result of these amendments our IQP’s are tasked with checking that Fire Separations are intact. Penetrations through floors and walls for pipes and cables sometimes compromise these fire cells, and these need to be “Fire Stopped” as per the original Fire Design. (Penetrations are often made after a CCC has been issued during tenancy fit outs etc)
This fire stopping has historically not been subject to prescribed inspection and now that it is, we are regularly finding remedial works. This is why buildings which have always been compliant are now being found to be non compliant in terms of the NZ Building Act.
This anomaly can be very frustrating for owners and body corporate committees to grasp, however this is now the law, and is in place to both protect occupants and buildings. As a result AIQP are often requesting copies of Fire Designs and Producer Statements for Passive Fire Protections Systems from Owners and Body Corporates.
We ask that those affected support us with these documents when requested, and that anyone with questions contacts our office or inspectors.