Many buildings particularly commercial ones have specified systems installed. These specified systems are there to make business operations safe, practical and seamless.
Specified systems such as escalators and lifts get people to where they’re going. A lot of time is saved moving such large crowds in the premises. Other lifesaving specified systems such as alarms and fire suppressant systems are there to ensure public safety when an emergency happens. They are all very important in day-to-day building operations, but such crucial system require annual testing to make sure they are working efficiently and not damaged in any way.
Whenever a building is completed, the local Council will issue a Compliance Schedule, this covers the required maintenance, inspection and reporting requirements for any specified systems in the NZ building. Some buildings also outgrow the specified systems they initially were built with, and if this is the case, an Independent Qualified Person may note in their report that the building needs an upgrade. But this is an entirely separate issue from their BWOF application.
Building Warrant of Fitness Northland
The annual audit that is required for commercial buildings to ensure they are safe and fit for use in New Zealand is called a Building Warrant Of Fitness. Otherwise referred to as Form 12. This is a declaration from a NZ building owner that confirms an inspection and the maintenance work required have taken place. The duration of this maintenance work happens in the period of a compliance schedule, which is a run up of the previous 12 months.
Any Northland building owner has the responsibility to ensure all the requirements of the compliance schedule are met in accordance with Sections 100 to 108 of the Building Act 2004.
Basically, a BWoF is a cycle. This happens each year on the anniversary of the compliance schedule given to you. That said, building owners will need to submit to their district council their Building Warrant of Fitness without fail. Council will process this information, and give you an invoice and you have to pay the administration charges for the documentation.
Here’s the thing: The building owner pays for the fees of an Independent Qualified Person to inspect the building. However, the Independent Qualified Person involved will do the inspection based on the current condition of the specified system. The IQP has no vested interest in the building. They are truly an independent figure. Their priority is public safety.
To get the BWoF, the building owner in Northland must submit to the council a signed copy of Form 12 and Form 12A(s).
The Form 12A(s) are important. These are the certificates of Compliance. They list every specified system on the Compliance Schedule which the proper and licensed Independent Qualified Person has to sign for.
IQPs in Northland
An IQP has to have the specific working knowledge and experience to sign on that specified system. For example, an electrician with working knowledge of Emergency lighting systems cannot sign on another specified system such as Heating & Ventilation. Unless he has both degrees and the proper licenses to competently make that assessment. So always check with your IQP what compliance inspection they can carry out for you.
Once your compliance schedule is underway, the Building Act 2004 allows the local council to have your building’s warrant of fitness inspected. They will issue audits to ensure everything you outlined in your BWoF is in order and accurate. They want to make sure you fulfilling your obligations. The audits may happen once a year or as deemed necessary by the council.
What happens during the audit is an on-site inspection of the building’s specified systems, followed by a thorough review of the maintenance records and who signed off on the documentation. You may choose to have your IQP(s) present during the council audit.
Afterwards, if all goes well, the building owner is issued the much-awaited BWoF which must be publicly displayed in the most visible area of the building.
Finding an Independent Qualified Person in Northland
Looking for the right Independent Qualified Person in Northland to check on your specified systems?
For business and property owners in search of Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs) in their area, know that every council has an IQP registry. You can start there, but if you are not satisfied, you can benefit from our network of consultants and IQPs to carry out the work and inspection during your compliance schedule.
Trust in Fireco NZ. Our service is available to any building, or company & building owner in the Whangarei, Aukland, Kaipara or Far North district councils. We specialise in fire safety products, test tag and building warrant of fitness (BWoF) compliance ensuring your business remains compliant.
We at Fireco have IQPs who can undertake all the necessary work on your specified systems in order to meet the compliance needs of your business. We are the foremost fire safety and compliance specialist based in Whangarei and serving the whole Northland region.
Call us today about your BWOF issues at 0800 101 232 or email us about your specified systems concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org