Each Building Code Clause has an ‘Acceptable Solution’, i.e. a specific method of construction or installation of a building element that will meet the Building Code performance criteria or in other words a ‘means of compliance’ (i.e. following the pictures and text in the book).
For Fire Engineering, the Acceptable Solutions are used to establish compliance with New Zealand Building Code Clauses C1-C6 – Protection from Fire which aim to protect people in buildings, limit fire spreading to other buildings, and help firefighting and rescue.
The Verification Method, C/VM2 also supports the Building Code Clauses C1 – C6 – Protection from Fire.
If any aspect of a new building design, its features or systems are outside the scope of the Acceptable Solutions (AS/x), then the Verification Method C/VM2 can generally be used for that building. The Verification Method provide a series of test or calculation methods in order to meet Code.
The Verification Method sets out 10 design scenarios that must each be considered and designed for, where appropriate, in order to achieve compliance.
A specific design that follows and meets the requirements of a Verification Method must be accepted by a Building Consent Authority as complying with the related Building Code provisions.
The aim of the Verification Method is to provide a robust and consistent design verification method for a specific design that allows more creative and flexible fire engineering solutions.
An alternative solution is a design solution which differs from the Acceptable Solutions (AS/x) given in the approved documents – yet complies with the New Zealand Building Code. It can include a material, component or construction method that differs completely or partially from those described in the approved documents. Alternative Solutions can be a minor variation from an acceptable solution or a radically different design and construction approach. Before issuing a building consent, the Council must be convinced that the proposal will meet the performance requirements of the Building Code. Consent applications must provide sufficient information to demonstrate that the building proposal meets the purposes and principles of the Building Act 2004 and the objectives, functional requirements and performance measures of the Code.
Construction monitoring is a service which is provided by Enlightened Fire Solutions and provides the Council and the owner independent verification that the construction of the fire requirements of the building have been completed in accordance with the approved fire report in the consented plans and the Building Code. Construction monitoring is generally required where the building work is either complex in detail, the work is substantial and of medium to high risk and where Council does not have the in-house expertise or capacity to carry out the required inspections.
The advantages of having CM is that it reduces the risk of materials or components that do not meet the specified requirements, that the fire design has been interpreted correctly and poor quality workmanship has not been incorporated in the project. At the completion of the construction of the building, the engineer will issue a Producer Statement (PS4) Construction Review to verify that the relevant fire requirements have been completed in accordance with the Building Code.
A Producer Statement is used by an engineer to confirm in their professional opinion that aspects of the buildings design or building work complies, or will comply, with the Building Code. It is intended to provide Councils with reasonable grounds for the issue of a Building Consent or a Code Compliance Certificate, without having to duplicate design or construction checking undertaken by others.
There are currently four types of producer statement, all with generally widespread council acceptance. They are known as:
PS 1 – Design
PS 2 – Design review
PS 3 – Construction (often used by the installers of proprietary systems)
PS 4 – Construction review.
The New Zealand system for fire resistance rating (FRR) is based on the British Standard. The various elements of a building, such as walls, floors, ceilings and doors are all rated using this system.
The rating is made up of four measures. The first three are measured in minutes and the fourth is a smoke rating.
Stability: Stability is how long an element can retain its load bearing capacity during a standard fire test that includes some extra load expected in a fire.
Integrity: How long an element will protect people and goods from flames and hot gasses. This is typically determined by the materials’ flame erosion resistance, as well as the tightness of joints and their ability to limit smoke and gas penetration.
Insulation: How long it takes for the temperature of the non-fire side of the element to rise by the maximum permitted amount.
Smoke rating – This is not time related. An element is either smoke rated or it is not. The letters Sm show when it is. Through their service life the smoke seals are often overlooked as a maintenance item, yet their smoke control role in a fire is arguably the most significant element of life preservation in a fire.
Enlightened Fire Solutions has a staff with over 75 years experience who specialise in all aspects of fire engineering ranging from initial fire design and fire modelling right through to construction monitoring and provision of producer statements.
We work with your architect, engineer, project manager or builder to ensure that you can focus on the big picture and keep your project on track and on time. Our staff understand the Building Code & Regulations and can provide the best solutions for you in the form of in-depth reports that are written in easy to understand terms.
While we provide services anywhere in New Zealand, we are a small tight knit company which prides itself on being accessible and readily available to talk one on one to discuss your project.
The cost can vary depending on the size and scope of the job. However, we can quickly give you an estimate of how much this is going to cost you and provide an indicative timeframe for your proposal. Please contact our team for further information.