So, you’ve prepared the ideal office fit out. You have your location, you’ve drawn up your designs, and you’re ready to go. There’s just one more thing. Do you have your building consent?
Building consents are granted by a local building consent authority if they are satisfied that a construction project reasonably meets the applicable building code requirements and can be completed in a manner consistent with the specifications outlined in the application. Building consents are required for a wide range of construction work, from new builds all the way down to rudimentary earthworks. Offices may need to apply for a building consent if they are installing a new HVAC system or undertaking a hard fit out. You should consult with your local council to determine if your proposed project will require a building consent.
You won’t be able to make any physical progress on your office fit out or construction work if you haven’t acquired consent (unless that work is exempt or made necessary by an emergency). Maximising your chances of successfully acquiring consent starts with a thorough and accurate application. You will need to include project drawings, photographs, and specifications so that your city council can update your property file.
Applications are usually available from your local council or you can download one from the council website. Be sure you can explain in clear detail:
If you intend to complete your own application for building consent, it’s important that you understand the appropriate building code requirements. You’ll need to site-specific information to illustrate how your renovation project will comply with those requirements. If your building work is restricted, a licensed building practitioner you’ve approached to assist with the project can supervise the application process to ensure the right information was sourced. External moisture, laundering facilities, and structural details are the most referenced causes for a failed application.