The designer needs to make sure that compliance with the District Plan and the Building Act has been met. The designer in consultation with the owner will provide the Building Consent Authority (BCA) with the preferred method of confirming siting levels.

The following should be taken into consideration when designing

  • the location of the legal and notional boundaries and the boundary offset dimensions from the proposed building work - boundary offset dimensions (each side, N/S/E/W) are to detail what each dimension relates to (eg to the foundation or to the cladding surface)
  • presence of any reliable legal boundary pegs (if available)
  • site datum suitably defined on the site plan
  • finished floor levels
  • site contour level points for natural ground levels (and as necessary the inclusion of contours) over the site and along boundaries (recession plane lines) to be used for recession plane compliance purposes
  • recession plane lines to each elevation, recording the ground level at the point taken, the dimension from the building to boundary and then from ground level to highest elevation of building (to avoid scaling from drawings)
  • propose how each structures location shall be verified and what is required (eg boundary setback, finished floor levels (FFL), recession planes, etc)
  • if working within tight boundary constraints which include the eaves on a setback to 1m to the cladding face, the eaves must terminate a minimum of 650mm inside the boundary. Any further encroachment towards the neighbouring property will require the boundary wall to be fully fire rated.

The designer plays the greatest role in providing a path to compliance with options to and on behalf of the owner. The more complex the design is, the greater the risk involved with keeping the dimensions within the District Plan and Building Act limitations.

The designer will need to propose to council the stages that need verifying. This could be where there is a FFL, boundary set back and a recession plane that needs to be checked within a single build. Another scenario could be where a number of structures are proposed to be built at different stages, or where there are different levels for a building such as commercial buildings or complex hill sites.