Building work involving the siting of a structure needs the location of the structure confirmed. The method for confirming its location will vary depending on the complexity of the building work, site constraints and planning rules

If the following criteria are met and information is provided, the requirement to provide a building location certificate (BLC) may not be necessary:

  1. The site has reliable boundary pegs that can be used to determine the location of the boundaries.
  2. The site plan has sufficient levels and setback dimensions. The levels include current and proposed ground levels and finished floor levels of the building. Where necessary, these levels are to be referenced to a fixed point on-site in terms of a recognised datum; for example, Lyttelton Vertical Datum 1937, Christchurch Drainage Datum, or New Zealand Vertical Datum 2016. The levels in terms of a recognised datum are to be provided by a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor or Registered Professional Surveyor
  3. The elevation and/or cross-sections include vertical dimensions from ground to floor to roof line and recession plane lines.
  4. The building design has a floor level that is at least 100 mm above the minimum floor level requirement and 200mm away from recession plane lines and minimum planning setback.

If the above criteria are not met and information not provided, a Building Location Certificate (B-081) [PDF, 88 KB] (also available in Word [DOCX, 643 KB]) is likely to be required to confirm the building’s location.

Where the location of the building only needs to be confirmed in terms of minimum floor level and boundary setbacks, a Setting Out certificate (B-080) [PDF, 159 KB] (also available in Word [DOCX, 643 KB]) is issued to show the position of building profiles that can be used to determine the location of the building and the floor level.

If the designer proposes an alternative method for confirming the building’s location, it is important that they provide the supporting reasons with the application so the building consent authority can review this.

For further information on the roles, process, and responsibilities for designers, surveyors, homeowners, and builders, see the sections below.

The designer is responsible for ensuring that the plans and specifications are sufficient to result in the building work complying with the building code and the district plan.

Building work involving the siting of a structure needs to have the location of the structure confirmed.

The designer in consultation with the owner will provide Council with the preferred method of confirming the siting.

The following information needs to be included when preparing the application plans and specifications:

  • The location of all property and national boundaries and the boundary setback dimensions from the proposed structure. The boundary setback dimensions need to be clear what each dimension relates to g. the foundation or the face of the cladding
  • The presence of any reliable boundary pegs (if available).
  • Location of site datum on the site plan and origin of this datum.
  • Finished floor levels.
  • Site contour level points for natural ground levels (and as necessary the inclusion of contours) over the site and along boundaries (recession plane lines) to be used for recession plane compliance purposes.
  • Recession plane lines for each elevation, recording the ground level at the point taken, the dimension from the building to the boundary and then from ground level to highest elevation of building (to avoid having to scale from drawings)
  • State which of the dimensions of the structures location needs to be verified (e.g. boundary setbacksfinished floor levels (FFL) and/or recession planes etc.)
  • If the proposed design is to locate the building close to a property boundary (e.g. a minimum 1 metre to the face of the wall cladding or a minimum 650 mm to the building’s eaves), this will require a building location certificate to confirm its location. Any closer to a property boundary would require the external wall to have a fire-rated construction.

The designer has an important role in providing a path to demonstrating compliance for the owner. The more complex the design is, the greater the risk involved with keeping the dimensions within the district plan and Building Act restraints.

The designer would need to propose to the Council if more than one stage is needed to confirm the location of the building. This could be the case for a single structure where there is a finished floor level, the boundary set back dimensions and the position of the structure relative to recession planes that are all required to be checked.

This would also apply when there are a number of structures being constructed at different stages within the same project or a structure has different floor levels such as commercial buildings or complex hill sites.

Examples

Example A:
For confirmation of floor levels and boundary setback dimensions for the structure only, a Building Location Certificate (B-081) [PDF, 88 KB]  (also available in Word [DOCX, 643 KB]or a Building Setout Certificate(external link) (also available in Word(external link)) is provided at the foundation inspection only.

Example B: 
The builder has agreed to set out string lines from reliable boundary pegs to confirm the structures boundary offset dimensions to the building inspector.

The structure is not close to any planning restraints and the finished floor level will be confirmed from the surveyor’s site datum (as detailed on the approved building consent documents).

If the dimensions are not in accordance with approved building consent plans then a building location certificate will be required.

It may not always be possible to confirm each required dimension in a single inspection. For example, confirming the setback dimensions to boundaries, finished floor levels and position of the structure relative to recession planes.

In these circumstances, the designer should propose to Council how these dimensions can be confirmed in stages.

Example C: 
Boundary setback dimensions and finished floor level can only be determined at pre-pour inspection. Dimensions to recession planes can only be determined at the pre-roof inspection.

This would then mean that a building location certificate would be presented in two stages; stage 1, a partial confirmation and stage 2 a final and complete confirmation.

The staging of a building location certificate would also apply when there are a number of structures being constructed at different stages.

The surveyor is responsible for establishing the building’s location, floor level and height comply with the approved building consent plans when requested by the homeowner or their agent. 

This can be declared by completing the Building Location Certificate (B-081) [PDF, 88 KB] (also available in Word [DOCX, 643 KB]) and clearly record the dimensions on a copy of the approved consent plan and provide it along with the building location certificate to the Council.

When a homeowner or their agent asks for a building location certificate, the surveyor will need to review the building consent construction documentation and advice notes for the specific dimensions that Council have requested to be verified.

This may require the building location certificate to be provided in stages. Once they have carried out a site survey at a particular stage, the building location certificate template is completed for that stage along with a copy of the relevant approved building consent plans.

Please note, if the building consent has had any amendments or minor variations, the latest version of the approved plan s must be used.

If the building consent advice notes have only requested a building setout certificate to verify the location a template is available building setting out certificate (B-080) [PDF, 159 KB] (also available in Word [DOCX, 643 KB]).

The building location certificate has a section to declare any differences from the dimensions on the approved building consent plans. In this case, the surveyor needs to clearly record the actual dimensions on a marked-up copy of the approved building consent plans.

Any change from the approved dimensions beyond accepted tolerances will require either correcting the siting of the structure to meet the approved dimensions or require a change to the building consent to be approved.

This change to the building consent would need to be granted as either an amendment or a minor variation depending on how significant the change is.  

When surveying recession plans, please make sure the following dimensions are recorded:

  • the ground level at the boundary at the point taken
  • from the boundary to the building (A)
  • the finished floor level (FFL)
  • from the FFL to the roofline (B)
  • the roof pitch or the dimension from the wall to the ridgeline (C)
  • from the FFL to the ridgeline (D)

Surveying recession plan guideline [PDF, 27 KB]

The homeowner is responsible for the building consent and obtaining any documentation that is required.

The homeowner must remain aware of what is happening with the project at all times and contact the Council if there are any changes.

The easiest way to identify if a building location certificate or a building setout certificate is required is to check the building consent construction documentation and advice notes.

The homeowner should talk to the designer or builder if they have any concerns.

The builder may ask the homeowner to engage a surveyor. Once the building location certificate has been produced by the surveyor, it is important that the surveyor explains any differences they’ve found.

If everything is ok, a building inspector will need to review the building location certificate on-site at the next inspection, so it is important that a hard copy is kept on site.

An electronic copy will also need to be sent into the Council for reviewing to codecompliance@ccc.govt.nz or via online services.(external link)

If the surveyor identifies differences from the approved building consent plans on the building location certificate, the homeowner is responsible for contacting the Council so the changes can be assessed.

The Council will then decide if they can accept the change as a minor variation, or as an amendment to the building consent.  Where the proposed building will be close to planning restrictions such as recession planes, minimum boundary setback dimensions and minimum floor levels it is likely that any changes will also affect compliance with the district plan or resource consent.

The homeowner or their agent will need to contact the Council’s Resource Consents Unit to see if the changed dimensions are within the scope of the district plan or their resource consent by emailing a copy of the building location certificate noting the variation to DutyPlanner@ccc.govt.nz

The Resource Consents Unit may need to undertake a 'within the scope' process to formalise the change. Once the changes have been approved by the Council, a copy is required to be kept on site.

See also change an issued resource consent(external link).

The builder is responsible for ensuring the building work is completed to the approved building consent documents.

The building consent construction documentation and advice notes must be checked to see if a surveyor is required to provide a Building Location Certificate (B-081)(external link) (also available in Word(external link)) and make sure it includes all the dimensions requested by the construction documentation note.

This may require the building location certificate to be provided in stages especially if dimensions to recession planes are required.

If everything is ok, a building inspector will need to review the building location certificate on-site at the next inspection, so it is important that a hard copy is kept on site.

An electronic copy will also need to be sent into the BCA for reviewing to codecompliance@ccc.govt.nz or via online services(external link).

If the surveyor identifies differences from the approved building consent plans on the building location certificate, Council will need to be contacted as this means a change to the approved building consent plans that may require an amendment to both the resource consent and building consent.

In some cases where the location of the building only needs to be confirmed in terms of minimum floor level and boundary setbacks, the building consent construction documentation and advice notes may require that a Building Setout Certificate(external link)(external link)(external link) (also available in Word(external link)) is issued to show the position of building profiles that can be used to determine the location of the building and the floor level.

If it has been agreed that the building’s setback dimensions can be confirmed by the building inspector. The builder will need to set out string lines from reliable boundary pegs to confirm these dimensions to the building inspector.

If the dimensions are not in accordance with approved building consent plans then a building location certificate will be required.