Typically commercial and industrial type buildings have life-safety systems incorporated into the design. These are called specified systems. On-going inspection and maintenance of these systems are required to ensure that the building remains safe for people who use the building. The building owner must ensure that regular checks are performed on specified systems to check they continue to operate to the performance standards to which they were installed.
Usually, this involves a technical contractor, known as a Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs). The IQP checks the specified systems contained in the building, maintains the systems and reports on those specified systems in the way described in the compliance schedule.
The building owner must issue a Building Warrant of Fitness every 12 months on the anniversary of the issue of the compliance schedule. It must be publicly displayed in the building. The BWOF declares that the requirements of the compliance schedule have been met over the previous year.
When making an application for a building consent, you must provide information on the specified systems and their performance standards to show compliance with the Building Code. In addition, you must provide details of the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures to be included on the compliance schedule.
During construction you are required to ensure that the work, including specified systems, are built in accordance with the approved building consent. Any changes to the installation of specified systems will need to be considered through the amendment or minor variation process.
When making your application for a CCC, you must provide confirmation that the specified systems are operational and ensure that the inspection maintenance and reporting procedures are appropriate. Providing plans showing the locations/layouts etc. of specified systems can be attached to the compliance schedule, which will help your IQPs in the future.
Some building consent applications need to be referred to FENZ; this typically involves commercial, industrial or communal residential / non-residential type buildings. We will refer your application to FENZ if it involves a fire design for these types of buildings and the following measures apply:
- compliance with clauses C1-6, D1, F6 or F8 of the Code is established other than by compliance with the provisions of an applicable compliance document (e.g. through an Alternative Solution); or
- involves a waiver or modification of clauses C1-6, D1, F6 or F8 of the Code;
- an alteration, change of use or subdivision that affects fire safety systems including any building work on a specified system relating to fire safety except where the effect is minor (e.g. minor changes and fit-outs are permissible)
Public premises are defined as:
Any building which is open to the public whether for free or payment of a charge, include but are not limited to:
- shopping malls
- camping grounds
- garages and workshops
- funeral homes
- office / retail complexes
- rest homes
These buildings cannot be used or occupied until a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) is issued. This is because public premises will generally have systems within the building which contribute to life-safety and the wellbeing of the building users. These systems are called specified systems. If specified systems are present in the building a Compliance Statement and Compliance Schedule will need to be issued with the CCC.
A Certificate of Public Use may be required for periods of time in which a building may be required to be used before the Code Compliance Certificate is issued. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The applicant/designer must also submit a system form for each specified system to be used in the design. These are straightforward and simple to complete and do an effective job of summarising relevant information from documents such as fire reports etc.
Specified systems are listed below and have a link to their required system form:
SS 1 - Automatic systems or fire suppression
SS 2 - Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers
SS 3.1 – Automatic doors interfaced with other emergency systems
SS 3.2 – Access control doors (swipe card, key pad, sensor-delayed)
SS 3.3 – Interfaced fire or smoke doors or windows
SS 4 – Emergency lighting
SS 5 – Escape route pressurisation systems
SS 6 – Riser mains for use by fire services
SS 7 – Automatic backflow preventers connected to a potable water supply
SS 8.1 – Passenger – carrying lifts
SS 8.2 – Service lifts
SS 8.3 Escalators and moving walkways
SS 9 – Mechanical ventilation systems
SS 10 - Building maintenance units for providing access to buildings (internal or external)
SS 11 - Laboratory fume cupboards
SS 12.1 – Audio loops
SS 12.2 – FM radio frequency systems and infrared beam transmission systems
SS 13.1 – Smoke control systems: Mechanical smoke control
SS13.2 – Smoke control systems: Natural smoke control
SS 13.3 – Smoke control systems: Smoke curtains
SS 14 – Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified above
SS 14.1 – Emergency power systems
SS 14.2 – Signs for systems
SS 15 - Any or all of the following systems and features, so long as they form part of a building's means of escape from fire, and so long as those means also contain any or all of the systems or features specified in clauses 1 to 6, 9, and 13:
SS 15.1 - Systems for communicating spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation
SS 15.2 - Final exits
SS 15.3 - Fire separations
SS 15.4 - Signs for communicating information intended to facilitate evacuation
SS 15.5 - Smoke separations
SS – 16 Cable cars
Your designer should provide you with information relating to the performance standards for each specified system contained within the building. These performance standards will identify the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures required for each system.