There can be distinct differences in requirements for commercial and industrial buildings to what a residential building needs. This depends on whether the building

  • remains open to the public while building work is carried out, and/or
  • contains specified systems.

If one or both of these situations applies, your building may

Certificate for public use

A certificate for public use (CPU) will allow your building to be used where a building consent has been granted for building work and no code compliance certificate issued for the work.

Before you apply we recommend you discuss your requirements with the Building Control Officer assigned to your application.

When you apply for a CPU, you’ll need to pay a fee for the application. In addition to this initial fee you’ll also be invoiced on a time and cost basis for the time spent processing your application. You won’t be able to open to the public until you’ve paid for and received your certificate for public use. For more information on a certificate for public use see our information on code compliance certificates.

Specified systems

A commercial or industrial building may contain certain safety and essential systems to help ensure the building is safe and healthy for people to enter, work in and occupy. These systems are called specified systems and can include

  • automatic systems for fire suppression
  • automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers
  • electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows
  • emergency lighting systems
  • escape route pressurisation systems
  • riser mains for use by fire services
  • automatic back-flow preventers connected to a potable water supply
  • lifts, escalators, travellators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings
  • mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems
  • building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings
  • laboratory fume cupboards
  • audio loops or other assistive listening systems
  • smoke control systems
  • systems for communication spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation
  • final exits
  • fire separations
  • signs for communication information intended to facilitate evacuation
  • smoke separations
  • cable cars
  • emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or  feature specified for any of the above.

A compliance schedule will also be issued for a dwelling that contains or is serviced by a cable car.

It is the building owner’s responsibility to ensure the installed specified systems continue to operate as intended when they were installed. For more information on specified systems see information on owners' responsibilities to ensure their buildings are safe to use.

Compliance schedules

Buildings with one or more active specified systems will be issued with a compliance schedule and compliance schedule statement. Note that signs are not active systems.

Compliance schedules list the systems and features of specified systems included in a building. Information on specified systems must be provided with the building consent application. This allows a draft compliance schedule to be provided with your building consent.

The compliance schedule included with your consent contains information on the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures needed to keep them in good working order. Your final compliance schedule will be issued with your code compliance certificate.

A compliance schedule must be kept on site and made available to building officers, Independent Qualified Persons (IQP’s), and authorised agents.

Where an existing building with a compliance schedule has specified systems removed or new systems installed during alteration then the compliance schedule will need to be amended.

Compliance schedule statements

A compliance schedule statement listing the specified systems within the building is issued at the same time as the compliance schedule and code compliance certificate.

This must be replaced in 12 months with a building warrant of fitness (BWOF), issued by the building owner.  

BWOFs are covered in more detail under the BWOF section.