Commercial Buildings



​The general requirements for a Building Consent for Commercial Premises are the same as for any Building Consent. However, if you are planning to do building work on industrial or commercial premises there are some extra requirements that would not normally apply to a private building or dwelling. Council must be satisfied that any proposed alterations or new building work meets requirements for factors such as:

  • access and facilities for persons with disabilities
  • fire safety
  • signs
  • change of use
  • structural design
  • earthquake resistance
  • lift requirements
  • hazardous substances / dangerous goods
  • trade waste
  • food premises
  • sanitary facilities
  • use by the public

Referral to Fire and Emergency NZ

Some applications are required by law to be sent to the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) for review. 

Applications required to be reviewed by the FENZ are:

  • Alternative solution fire designs.
  • Applications that involve modifications or waiver of clauses C1-6, D1, F6 or F8 of the New Zealand Building Code.
  • Applications that involve an alteration, change of use, or subdivision and affects the fire safety systems, including any building work on a specified system relating to fire s​afety, unless the fire safety system is minor.

CODC will send the application to FENZ on your behalf.

Certificate for Public Use

A Certificate for Public Use is issued by the Council and ensures that a commercial premise is safe for members of the public to use while work under a building consent is carried out. You need a Certificate for Public Use if you intend the public to have access to all or part of the premises (either during construction or on completion) prior to the issue of the Code Compliance Certificate.

Certificate for Public Use application

Compliance Schedules

A compliance schedule lists the specified systems within a building and the procedures required to keep them in good working order, helping to ensure the building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or work in.

A compliance schedule is required for a building that:

  • is not wholly a single household unit (for example, includes commercial and industrial buildings but not stand-alone houses) AND contains one or more specified systems (including cable cars)
  • is wholly a single household unit AND has a cable car attached to it or servicing it.​


Specified Systems​

NOTE: The Specified Systems and Building Warrant of Fitness forms are available on the
Southern Building Control Group forms page.

The Building Act defines a specified system as a system or feature that is:

  • contained in, or attached to, a building
  • contributes to the proper functioning of the building (for example, a sprinkler system)
  • declared by the Governor-General, by Order in Council, to be a specified system for the purpose of this Act
  • Includes a cable car.

Regulation 4 and Schedule 1 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005 list the specified systems. They are:

  1. Automatic systems for fire suppression (for example, sprinkler systems).
  2. Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers (other than a warning system for fire that is entirely within a household unit and serves only that unit).
  3. Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows (for example, ones that close on fire alarm activation).
  4. Emergency lighting systems.
  5. Escape route pressurisation systems.
  6. Riser mains for use by fire services.
  7. Automatic backflow preventers connected to a potable water supply.
  8. Lifts, escalators, travellators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings.
  9. Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems.
  10. Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings.
  11. Laboratory fume cupboards.
  12. Audio loops or other assistive listening systems.
  13. Smoke control systems.
  14. Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified in any of clauses 1 to 13.
  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:
  1. systems for communicating spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation
  2. final exits (as defined by clause A2 of the Building Code)
  3. fire separations (as so defined)
  4. signs for communicating information intended to facilitate evacuation
  5. smoke separations (as so defined).


Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF)​

Buildings with specified systems (alarms etc) installed have ongoing requirements through the Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) regime. These will be commercial buildings unless the specified system is a cable car installed in a dwelling.

A Building Warrant of Fitness (Form 12) is a statement from the building owner confirming that the systems in the building have been checked and the inspection and maintenance required (stated in the compliance schedule) for the building has complied for the previous 12 months.

After a new building is constructed or existing building altered, Council will issue building owners with a compliance schedule covering the maintenance, inspection and reporting requirements for any specified systems in the building.

The building owner is responsible for ensuring the requirements of the compliance schedule are met. The owner has to use independent people to check the systems. The owner pays for an Independent Qualified Person (see below) to inspect and maintain the buildings specified systems.

Each year on the anniversary date of the compliance schedule building owners will need to supply the Council with a Building Warrant of Fitness. Once all the correct information is received and processed, an invoice for the Administration charges related to the documentation will be sent by the Council.

In addition the owner must supply Council with a signed copy of Form 12A. Form 12A is signed by an Independent Qualified Person for each specified system listed on the Compliance Schedule. The building owner must publicly display the Building Warrant of Fitness on the premises.


How do I find an Independent Qualified Practitioner (IQP)?

All registered South Island Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs) personnel are recorded on the IQP Register administered by Timaru District Council. Use the following link to search for an IQP:


Other useful information 




Page reviewed: 13 Aug 2019 2:22pm