Responding to the reinforcing steel mesh conformance issue recently highlighted in the media, HERA is driving a policy change that allows our members to deliver better value and remain competitive.
With the rapid adoption of the Steel Fabrication Certification (SFC) scheme, our New Zealand steel construction industry has significantly progressed on its way to verifiable product conformance.
We see this proposal as a key opportunity for you to remain competitive – not only against imports, but also local competing building systems. We realise a comprehensive quality assurance system works only if all New Zealand stakeholders are part of it – which is why making third party product verification mandatory must be our ultimate goal.
Our recommendation is simple and in line with the NZ Building Regulatory Framework and its referenced standards and recognises that independent credible third party verification/certification is international best practice as pursued in the European Building Regulatory framework.
Initial industry reaction to this proposal has been positive, and in conjunction with SCNZ we’ve now drafted a formal policy we’d like to consult you on.
Our policy statement we ask you to endorse or reject:
Our recommendation is that all critical building work independent of building material should be required to have reliable third party verification enforced by the MBIE-driven regulatory framework.
As a relevant example for steel construction for Importance Level 3 and 4 steel-framed structures, it would mean all steel would have to come via ACRS or other creditable certification-provider certified supply chains. For steel fabrication, this would have to come via an ISO 3834 or similar accredited scheme-certified fabricator such as covered under the SFC scheme.
In terms of achieving this desirable state of building conformance the following detailed recommendations are made:
For building industry:
- To evolve industry sector driven third party product conformance schemes first on a voluntary basis and as a preparation for the schemes becoming mandatory
- To work with the regulator to prepare the frame work for the developed schemes to become mandatory
For building system regulator (MBIE):
- To determine in co-operation with industry what is critical building work which warrants formal third party verification
- To establish in co-operation with industry the frame work of a sector overarching building product conformance system
- Following substantial progress being made, make the sector overarching building product conformance system mandatory
- Enforce mandatory system and ensure that any breaches of conformance be dealt with swiftly and with penalty
Give us your formal feedback today!
Your views are important and will be analysed to inform our final outcome. We look forward to sharing this with you in upcoming communications.