Prior to 1992, the rules which governed building was more than 70 different Council by laws system. What was allowed in one council was not allowed in another and architects and builders were continually frustrated with the of laws. Someone had the idea to implement 1 single building code so that there was only 1 set of rules. Unfortunately 1 set of rules has 7 different interpretations by Councils, which is exactly the same situation as the by law system. Councils have not innovated or improved their performance to offer a single improvement in value or attempt to integrate themselves positively into the greater construction industry.
Nothing has changed because no one is holding the Councils to account. Designers give in to get the consent and builders follow the Plans only to be told by Inspectors it is wrong and have to change it. Council officials contact the owners to circumvent the designer who actually stands up to the unlawful requests from the bullies. Delays are common at every step of the process whether you in to them or not..
I have heard of Councils stopping the consent and asking for a particular Section Marker to be used, or windows which were installed in 1995 to be they are designed to an extra high wind zone for a current consent, or they say a Section is wrong and needs to change. (3D software means it is not possible to draw a wrong Section. and it would be if they could accept BIM files and the intelligence to open it and use them. But everything is pdf and delays.
There is an innate attitude among Building Officers that builders and designers are incompetent and everyone need the Council Builders Officers to keep them honest. New cadets into the industry are told this early on in their training and the myth gets perpetrated forward. Councils have scared Governments to delay real change would bring efficiency gains in the Building Act to justify their importance. So any chances of the building owners getting real service is non existent.
There is absolutely no chance of things changing. Councils are not part of the building industry, they protecting the ratepayers first and look at the building industry second. They do not offer advice or offer design solution because they do not want the liability. The tell everyone that they know everything to do with the Building Code but have a very warped view heir role in under the Building Act. This attitude means that the is second in their thinking.
Australia has the right thinking. The Councils issue consents, but private industry does the checking and inspections. Council is purely a record keeping service. This is where the New Zealand Industry needs to go before it suffers from the cancer that Council thinking is. I have said the industry needs to unite.
Building Inspectors used to have a reputation in the top ten % of careers. Now thefall slgihtly above pedophiles and arsonists. Nick Smith has to open the industry up to private BCAs and get Council out of the picture all together. They do not want the liability that goes with the job and are causing needless delays and costly overruns. Give it to the private enterprise who wants to be there, doing the job and offering real value. And innovation.
Designers can send their Plans to engineers or cladding specialists and who can into it and do directly in the file do their designs. With 2 clicks of the mouse a BIM File is made and is transportable to anyone anywhere who needs view it.
But the vast majority of Councils do not have the expertise or to accept it. Too much of a cost for the rate payers maybe, the training costs to have someone who can use it may be the reason, but the effect is that they have put themselves outside the industry, outside the governments expectations and are holding the whole industry to ransom.