Access and Changing Use of Building


Accessibility

Section 118 of the Building Act states that "If provision is being made for the construction or alteration of a building... reasonable and adequate provision by way of access, parking provisions, and sanitary facilities must be made for persons with disabilities who may be expected to -

a) Visit or work in the building, and

b) Carry out normal activities and processes in that building."

Access to a building reasonably starts at the carpark and follows into and through the building. An accessible carpark must provide for level and unimpeded access all the way into the building. Once inside, the use of and movement within the building, including for example, reception and shop counters, stairs, lifts and conveniences must all comply with the requirements of the Building Code.

The Council has a responsibility under the Building Act to ensure that accessibility has been fully addressed as part of the Building Consent process. This information therefore, is just as important as the structural plans and is necessary with all applications.

Change of Building Use

Changing the use of a building under the Building Act may have significant implications in terms of the amount of work that may be required.  This is in conjunction with the consent and consequently, the cost to the owner. Change of use is defined in the Building Regulations 2005 Link to External Website   A Building Consent is required for a change of use.

Further information

For further information or advice, please contact the Building Services Team on 06 323 0000 or building@mdc.govt.nz at the Manawatu District Council.