3. Starting your build

The landowner must start building work within 12 months of the date of issue of the building consent, otherwise, it will lapse. However, we have the discretion to extend the time frame for the commencement of building work.

Completing building work

Building work must be completed within two years of the date of issue of the building consent. But again, it is within our discretion to extend the time frame for the completion of the building work.

How is a project inspected and certified?

The building consent for the construction of a large dam will include conditions for inspections of the project by Environment Canterbury and our expert consultants.

It is the consent holder’s responsibility to ensure that inspections are undertaken in accordance with the building consent. Consent holders, or their representatives, are required to meet inspectors on site and arrange safe access to the building, or building work, so that the inspection can be carried out. This includes safe access to ‘off-the-ground’ and ‘normally inaccessible’ areas should that be required.

Inspections allow Environment Canterbury to determine that the building work complies with the approved consent documentation and the building code.

Where significant non-compliances are identified during an inspection, Environment Canterbury may issue a “notice to fix”.

How much will it cost?

The applicant will need to meet the costs incurred if we are required to carry out inspections. The cost of carrying out inspections is generally time-based. Costs include:

  • Our time in carrying out any inspections
  • Our actual costs in engaging external contractors to carry out any inspections

Costs can be paid using internet banking, credit card and in person.

Frequently asked questions

I want to book an on-site inspection

An inspection request must be scheduled to suit all parties. A request is to be made by contacting BCA Coordinator in the first instance.

Where can I get a copy of the building consent issued on my property

Contact customer services for a copy of the building consent relating to a property.

How do I request an extension of time to the commencement of building work?

A request for an extension of the time must be received in writing by us prior to the 12-month lapse date and cannot be approved retrospectively. Beyond the lapse date, you will need to apply for a new building consent.

What are the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for specified systems?

Any dam that has a specified system (e.g. automatic sprinklers, air conditioning and fire alarms) must have a compliance schedule. A compliance schedule describes the specified systems and their performance standards and sets out the inspection, maintenance and reporting requirements for each specified system.

A compliance schedule will generally be issued at the same time as the code compliance certificate. It will usually be kept in the dam to which it relates, and is required to be available for inspection by any person who has a right to inspect the dam under the Building Act 2004.

If your dam has a compliance schedule, you will be required to provide a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) to Environment Canterbury annually. A BWOF is a declaration by the dam owner stating that the specified systems have been maintained in accordance with the compliance schedule. This certifies that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures in the schedule have been fully complied with during the previous 12 months.

What are the standard inspection types?

Typical inspections made in respect of large dams may include (although the specific requirements will be determined on a case by case basis):

  • Foundations
  • Embankment construction
  • Pipe penetration
  • Spillway
  • Final inspection
What happens on the day of an inspection?

On the day of your inspection, you or your agent need to be on site with the consented plans and associated documentation. Environment Canterbury can refuse to undertake an inspection if a copy of the consented plans and specifications are not available.

During the inspection, you will be expected to respond to any queries or requests made by the inspector. Minor issues may be easily fixed or approved and noted in the inspection record. Following an inspection the inspection records will be sent to you. If you passed the inspection, you can continue with the build.

If some of the work failed the inspection, the areas of non-compliance must be rectified and another inspection scheduled within the time frame advised in the inspection record. Where a material non-compliance is identified, Environment Canterbury will issue a Notice to Fix.

If major variations from the building consent are identified, these will require a formal amendment through Environment Canterbury before work can continue. The inspector will advise if a conditional continuation of work applies to areas unaffected by the variation.

Following an inspection, Environment Canterbury’s consultant will provide a full copy of the inspection records to Environment Canterbury within 2 working days. Environment Canterbury will provide the applicant with a copy of the inspection report within 2 working days of receipt of the inspection record from its consultant.