The International Status of Building Regulations, Consenting Processes and Risk-informed Criteria
Authors: Sturm, Joseph; Marriage, Guy
Risk-assessment is seen as a tool for future refinement of performance-based building codes; the goal being to allocate consenting resources toward high-risk projects though risk-informed criteria. Research was conducted into building regulations, consenting processes and the role of professionals in a mixture of countries, states and cities internationally for elements of risk-based consenting with a purpose of providing comparison to the current situation in New Zealand. The research found broad similarities in regulations and codes but a number of differences in approaches to consenting with differing levels of control, self-certification and private sector involvement. No jurisdiction has yet implemented a system of risk-based consenting, however a number of ad hoc elements of risk-assessment criteria for meeting codes found in each jurisdiction are identified. Many have made particular effort to simplify the process in cases of minor work. The roles and responsibilities of the authorities, building owners and the building professions are compared with a focus on the role of architects in the consenting process. There is considerable variation in the level of regulation and involvement of architects with much of their role also defined by contract with the building owner. Together the results provide a summary and overview of international similarities and differences in the current status of risk-based consenting, building codes, roles of professionals and apportionment of liability.