Determination 2018/055

Hi All,

I have just finished reading the Determination listed above for the warehouse alterations. :frowning:

I think that there are some things that are not correct in the Determination.

  • MBIE have said that the whole building must be tested under s17.

  • MBIE also refer to a Determination from 2004 (when I was at BIA). This was signed by John Ryan. The design was originally to the 1991 Act for staged building works and various CCC for stages were given by a certifier. A complete building CCC was (I believe) not issued, so it remained a “live” consent on the basis of the ongoing building work.

The important fact here is that CCC for the entire building was not issued, so the building was not complete and all stages had to show compliance as per a new building (Section 17), as they were amendments to the original prior to final CCC.

This particular Determination is based on the 2004 Act is on a building that has CCC for the building (therefore legally exists). From that point on any work is tested under section 112 (Alterations to an EXISTING building). Section 17 applies to the new work of course, but not to the entire building. Full compliance may be desired, but not necessary as s112 applies.

Also in the Determination FENZ pointed out that a selective choice of parts of VM2 were used…that was obviously said before the legal advice shared to all last year. However it remains the case that a design can be submitted in any form and using any method, or parts thereof as allowed by the Act. Happy to share that again if needed…

The outcome of the Determination is, in my view, not in line with the legislation, or the Determination referred to from 2004.


I only had a quick read of the determination but I was struggling to understand what they were trying to achieve. I also did not pick up that the building had never been completed. They should have tidied that aspect up before proceeding with anything further.

I do not see an issue with C/VM2 being used in part and that can be done as an alternative solution. In fact that is stated later in the determination. It should be evident to everyone that C/VM2 is a seriously flawed document and instead engineering expertise should be applied when using it. MBIE may have not officially admitted how broken C/VM2 is except for Amendment 5 when the scope was suddenly limited without explanation or consultation.

It would be best to scrutinise any use of C/VM2 without further design considerations.

Without having any more info than is in the determination at this time … Aside from the comments noted above and roundabout route, the conclusion that the pallet racking does not make a compliant mezzanine floor is correct in my opinion.
There is a snowball’s chance of a pallet racking system with chip board flooring achieving a 30min fire rating. I have some tests of plywood and particle board in my archive which I woudl have to dig out but 5min would be tops I expect. The racking is also optimized for the purpose and basically made of steel tinfoil, so it has no redundancy, especially for eccentric loading as a fire weakens one side or leg.
There is a past determination from quite a few years ago (as well as the building code clauses) that states that you can’t work on evacuation of the occupants only as adequate for structure and to hell with the Fire Service being able to do their job. I don’t know how long the local FENZ crew would take to turn up during rush hour and do their thing, but I am sure it is more than 5-10mins.
Also of interest but only mentioned in passing is an apartment in the office, which (apparently) is or was not fire separated nor had the appropriate alarm system. Was it consented like that, given it is a new-ish building?

Geoff, My point is based on the compliance route and how they stretch a very long bow between two different methods of gaining CCC. It is not correct to run the decision making in that way. For clarity they should have stuck to the question and not gone into the dim past for a reference. I do agree with your statements though.