Construction is a huge endeavor. When you open a construction site there are many people involved from planning to completion. It also involves a big financial investment in terms of resources, time and manpower.
The basic building cycle starts with the plans meeting the necessary code of compliance requirements, followed by the issuance of a building permit then the entirety of the construction phase. Compliance inspections will happen in intervals making sure the builders are following the approved plans. If there are any variances and undeclared additions, all construction work will be put to a halt. Further on, the same inspections will take place with the essential specified systems.
For NZ buildings to maintain operations, it must acquire a Building Warrant of Fitness on annual schedule, this is only possible if the property owner has satisfied all inspections and maintenance recommendations listed on their compliance schedule.
Compliance doesn’t end upon acquiring the first BWoF. Achieving your BWoF annually is just the start of your compliance journey as a property owner. Further on, these yearly compliance schedules will take place as a legal requirement, this is to ensure that every building open to the public is safe and that all building owners are living up to their responsibilities.
With the rise of natural and man-made disasters, building safety compliance exists to reinforce fitness standards. Public safety and worker welfare are high on the priority list. In New Zealand, to ensure a building’s safety, there are compliance guardians called IQPs or an Independent Qualified Person.
The Importance of an Independent Qualified Person
Let’s look closely at the responsibilities of an IQP.
An IQP is a compliance professional and a highly-trained individual approved to carry out detailed inspections. This building inspector and specified systems specialist is governed by a specific council known as the Territorial Authority. One of the primary roles of an IQP is to perform building inspections, check repairs and maintenance updates. They are required to sign off on any of the inspections they approve.
Being IQPs, they do not have any personal agendas or conflict of interests with the building property they inspect. They are a neutral party committed to uphold integrity and building excellence.
Specifically, IQPs are responsible for reporting specified systems like riser mains, mechanical ventilations, automatic doors, elevators, fire sprinklers, smoke control and detectors, cooling systems, and escalators. They regulate policies so that an establishment can operate smoothly. They are also qualified to supply essential documentation confirming a building’s compliance. Thus, an IQP deems to follow the requirements on the building’s compliance schedule.
A Building Warrant of Fitness, otherwise known as the BWOF, is an annual certificate that confirms two significant points. The first one is to verify that all specified systems in a given infrastructure have been wholly and carefully inspected and maintained. The second one is to check whether all the requirements of the compliance schedule have been appropriately followed.
As required by council, a copy of the BWOF should be displayed to the public. Thus, it can be posted outside the building for everyone to see. The property owner should also submit the BWOF, along with the IQP certificate(s) of compliance, to the Council.
The Form 12A or the Certificate of Compliance with inspection, maintenance, and reporting Procedures is similar to a form that needs to be approved by the licensed building practitioner—the document found in Section 108(3)(c) of the Building Act of 2004. To get an approved BWOF, the owner must first accomplish the Form 12A from the IQP. This form certifies that there was an inspection made in the building for the previous 12 months.
This form is similar to a checklist with three main parts. First is the section regarding the building. You can see information like the building name, street address, BWOF number, Legal description, and location of the establishment within the site. In the next section, you would find vital details regarding the property owner, such as name, mailing address, office address, and contact information. Lastly, the third section is regarding the specified systems. It is a tick box type of form wherein you check if a particular system is validated and maintained correctly.
Importance of an Independent Qualified Person
An IQP is essential due to their skills and field knowledge in ensuring the performance and safety of any building they are assigned to. Their expertise is vital when it comes to specified systems, as their reports give building owners time to think about improving their processes, a chance to course correct any variances or lapses in repairs. What a property owner may struggle to understand about building systems, an IQP can clarify for them and recommend actionable goals.
The IQPs also carry the tasks like ensuring the accuracy of the Form 12A and other required forms. To conclude, IQPs are vital in keeping the buildings around Whangarei safe and conducive for work.
If you need to find an IQP Inspector New Zealand, you may check with your council registry, or you can reach out to Fireco Limited. We have a network of ready and credible IQPs that you can consult on the kind of specified systems that you have.
For BWoF and Compliance Schedule issues, Fireco Limited can make a big impact on how you do safety and maintain your specified systems.