Risk Group Classification - rooms rented indivdually

I have a case where a housing trust is building “townhouses” and plans to rent rooms individually to tenants selected from the WINZ housing list, so that tenants are assigned to the residence independently of the existing tenants. There are to be 4 tenants in the house.

I do not consider this to be a ‘boarding house’ as the owner is not present. Any thoughts? Is this correct?
Could this this be considered a household unit? Is it Risk Group SH or SM?

This must be quite a common situation in Auckland or other student cities where a landlord rents rooms on an individual basis to tenants.

I have been through this very situation. The rooms are individually let and are generally lockable although this is not pivotal. As the house occupants do not control who they live with one cannot consider it a flatting situation. There may or may not be social cohesion. As a fire safety designer I would not rely on social cohesion and thus it cannot be considered as a household unit. Thus each occupants room must be treated as an accommodation unit.
There is also a determination on this very subject - 2014/026.

In addition to this a similar case I had also pointed out in the Resource Consent that where the occupants share facilities such as a common kitchen they cannot be considered to be household units. Not sure what the final answer should be. They must at least be fire separated from each other (regardless of the Risk Group used) and a Type 1 and Type 2 alarm installed, but preferably a Type 5.

Hi Gillian,

It is neither SH or SM, it is Alternative Solution. I think this is a prime example when we shall start using MBIE Design Guide for Residential Community Housing.

hope this help

Hi Tania
The Design Guide is for Community Group Housing, developed as a result of C/AS3 being inappropriate for household units comprising persons with mixed needs and varying levels of self-evacuation. It couldn’t be used in this situation but one could view the document in terms of alternative solution process. The MBIE document on alternative solution design yet to come.