Whether you are seeking compliance advice, requiring a building defect assessment, are planning a renovation scheme or looking to keep on top of your property’s maintenance requirements, Registered Building Surveyors are available to assist both commercial and residential property owners.
Building investigations, assessments & maintenance
If your property is suffering from a specific defect, or you want to ascertain if issues are present to a property prior to acquisition, our Registered Members are experts in the identification of building defects and providing recommendations on an appropriate repair strategy to address any issues identified. They can provide advice on any investigation works required, and prepare a report recording the defects, the probable cause, and the best strategy for remediation, which may be used to assist your decision-making or by your advisors in respect of legal claims or property purchases.
Over the years, Registered Building Surveyors have developed considerable expertise in the investigation and reporting on “weathertightness” related failures in buildings.
Defects that compromise the performance of a building’s external envelope can have serious effects on the integrity of the structure, particularly if left unattended. Seeking a robust weathertightness assessment as soon as an issue arises is likely to limit the extent of repairs, therefore reducing the time and cost involved.
Weathertightness investigations are typically categorised into the following three stages:
Undertaking a visual assessment to identify any signs of external water ingress and/or any defects/high risk details that have the potential to result in weathertightness failures.
Establishing whether any visually apparent defects/high risk details have resulted in a breach of the weathertightness performance of the external envelope, and to what extent. This often involves a level of intrusive investigation, such as invasive testing where timber framing is concerned, whereby a series of moisture content readings are obtained from the framing to establish any patterns and the degree of failure.
Assessing the consequential damage of a weathertightness failure, particularly on underlying structural members that cannot be observed visually. This may involve laboratory analysis of building materials, such as timber framing, which will allow for an informed recommendation to be made on a suitable remedial strategy.
A number of Registered Building Surveyors specialise in carrying out weathertightness assessments of all types of buildings, from dwellings to multi-storey apartment blocks and commercial buildings. They can advise on the most appropriate inspection methods, before preparing a report identifying failures, damage, and an appropriate repair strategy to address any issues identified.
Understanding the condition of a building presents many benefits to property owners. Condition assessments are an important first step in managing maintenance requirements, determining when remedial works or upgrades are necessary, or even in assessing what a property is worth.
Instead of a full assessment, another option is to obtain a schedule of condition, where a detailed photographic schedule allows a condition benchmark to be set for a property. Schedules of condition are particularly useful when nearby construction works are being undertaken, as they provide a clear record of condition prior to construction, which can be referenced should any future issues arise due to vibrations or ground movement.
CCC or CoA compliance reporting
A Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) is issued by a Building Consent Authority (BCA)/Council as a requirement under Section 95 of the New Zealand Building Act 2004, where it is determined that building work has been undertaken in accordance with the consent documentation and therefore meets the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC). Issue of a CCC may be refused under Section 95a (BA2004), whereby the BCA/Council will state the reasons for the refusal, before often recommending that the services of a specialist building surveyor are acquired.
Registered Building Surveyors can undertake the steps required, including any aspects that the BCA/Council have stipulated, through providing a comprehensive report to be submitted in conjunction with the CCC application for the Council to consider.
Where unconsented building works are concerned, certain Registered Building Surveyors can also assist with Certificate of Acceptance (CoA) applications, which may be issued by a Territorial Authority (TA)/Council once they are satisfied on reasonable grounds, that the unconsented building works comply with the current NZBC.
Applying for a CoA is a very technical process. NZIBS have the experts that can assist you by managing the process and issuing detailed reports to support a CoA application for the TA/Council to consider.
Regular and informed maintenance deliver is a key component to maximising the value of a property, whilst prolonging it’s expected life span.
An effective and efficient maintenance plan will aim to be proactive as opposed to reactive, as maintaining a building costs far less than replacing elements all together once significant failure has already occurred. Typical maintenance plans extend over a 5 – 10 year period and assess the building fabric and infrastructure by including information such as element types, condition assessments, element/product life expectancies, timeframes for maintenance delivery and costings to carry out such works. Building Surveyors may also co-ordinate with other consultants to assess specialist areas such as building services or land conditions.
Maintenance plans are often utilised to support budget allocation or for future development planning.
Asbestos surveys and management
Specific Registered Members hold additional qualifications such as BOHS IP402 Asbestos Surveying, BOHS IP405 Management of Asbestos and BOHS IP404 Air Monitoring, Clearance Inspections and Reoccupation. These members can provide helpful information to guide you through requirements under the Health and Safety at Works (Asbestos) Regulations 2016.
Design, remediation and conservation
A number of Registered Building Surveyors hold architectural design qualifications and are Licenced Building Practitioners under the LBP ‘Design’ class, whilst others hold significant experience in co-ordinating and managing the design process. They can act as the client representative or lead consultant in new build, existing building or earthquake-strengthening projects undertaking core tasks such as project feasibility, measured surveys, architectural design for concept through to detailed design stages, procurement, site observation/contract administration and post-design services relating to client occupation, fit-out and future maintenance planning. A few of our members are also involved in accessibility and sustainability in construction and Passive House projects.
Remediation and remedial design
The first step for any remediation project is to establish your requirements and a scope of works necessary to appropriately remediate the building in question. Our Registered Members can provide services from discovery right through to completion and handover of the remedial works. This may include condition assessments and reporting, design and consent applications, contractor procurement, contract administration and construction observations.
Historic buildings and heritage conservation
Within the NZIBS there are a small number of members who have NZ and overseas experience and/or qualifications in heritage conservation. They can provide specialist advice on projects that include heritage structures, such as buildings, bridges, dams, piers/jetties, monuments, ruins, or ones that lie within heritage precincts. Services can include the preparation of feasibility studies, heritage impact assessments for Resource Consent purposes and conservation plans. A few Registered Buildings Surveyors also specialise in condition assessments and maintenance plans for heritage buildings and the preparation of repair schedules and specifications for historic building materials, such as slate roofing, stone and brick masonry, lime mortars/renders/plasters and leadwork.