Working near live electricity

Before you start any building work, make sure you’re safe. Consider the whether the work you’re doing is

  • near overhead powerlines
  • near underground cables
  • home electrical work. The key is to treat all lines and cables as live at all times. For information on underground cabling contact our local electricity distribution network provider Orion. You can obtain a free underground map for services underground, and other guidance on keeping yourself safe when working around live electrical wires.

Required inspections

Every build project is unique, which means that every build has its own individual requirements.

During the processing of your building consent application we will decide what inspections will be needed to enable us to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that you comply with your building consent.

Your consent will list the required inspections and the requirements for those inspections. Make sure that

  • you read and familiarise yourself with these before you start building work,
  • all consent documentation is kept on site at all times.

Inspections by others

Sometimes specialists need to carry out inspections or 'construction monitoring'. This will be in addition to the inspections carried out by us.

Generally you’ll be made aware if a specialist inspection is necessary before your consent is granted. Typically specialists inspections involve having

  • a geotechnical engineer confirm ground stability
  • an aspect of specific structural design checked by the registered engineer who designed the work.

Construction monitoring conditions will be clearly set out in the approved building consent documentation.

Access needs for inspections

When booking an inspection, please have the appropriate equipment in place for the inspector to safely inspect the work.

This may mean that you need to provide scaffolding, a ladder or a scissor lift to allow the inspector to view all building elements (eg flat roofs, chimney back flashings, internal gutters, etc).

For final inspections and alterations where access to the premises is restricted by locks, you will need to have someone available on site to liaise with the inspector on the day and for the full duration of the inspection.

There are a number of other onsite requirements that need to be in place for inspections. For more details see our information on onsite requirements.

Supplying licensed building practitioner details

Please let us know when your building work starts.

Before booking your first inspection you’ll need to give us a list of all licensed building practitioner (LBP) trades carrying out work on your building. Your first inspection can’t be booked until LBP details have been provided. Providing this information up front will

  • make bookings faster and more efficient
  • help ensure inspections are not failed or stopped by an inspector due to not having these details available.

You can forward LBP information through to bca@selwyn.govt.nz with the following details

  • full name of contractor
  • license class
  • LBP number
  • email address
  • phone number
  • postal address
  • company name

You must tell us if a LBP is added or changed during your build. This can be done at time of booking, or sooner if possible.

Pre-construction meeting/inspection

Sometimes we’ll need to have a pre-construction meeting. Where one is needed this will be shown as the first inspection on the building consent document.

Generally pre-construction meetings are requested for specific projects where we consider a meeting before work starts would help your project. The following people should all be onsite for this meeting

  • owner
  • tenant
  • project manager
  • site manager
  • senior building officer
  • and any representatives that may be on site during the construction.

A pre-construction meeting provides an opportunity to discuss and clarify anything that may need to be dealt with to help your project run smoothly. These meetings are particularly helpful on commercial projects where construction work may be staged to understand the proposed construction sequence.

Where a pre-construction meeting/inspection is required no further inspections can be booked until after this meeting.

To arrange the meeting contact the Building Advisory team on bca@selwyn.govt.nz or phone 03 347 2839. Please try to give as much notice as possible to ensure the right people are available to attend.

Let us know at time of booking if you would like a representative from other council departments to be part of a pre-construction meeting so that we can arrange this.

Erosion & sediment control

Excavation work can cause sediments to end up in waterways and stormwater, with large impacts on natural habitats for plants and animals. For this reason all building work needing excavation work must have controls in place to keep sediments on site.

Different sites need different controls to prevent runoff; eg flat land will need less than sloping sites. Controls that can be used include

  • minimising excavation
  • creating bunds or channels to contain runoff within the site
  • stabilising the exposed area
  • installing silt fencing
  • etc.

Erosion and sediment control is monitored by Environment Canterbury. They’ve developed a helpful toolbox on their website with tips and a range of resources.