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Building categories

Building categories - scope of your licence

The LBP scheme uses three building categories to identify how applicants should be assessed and to provide a scope for the licence classes.

The new building categories are complexity based, ranging from simple low risk dwellings in category 1 to complex multi-storey commercial in category 3. The definition excludes ancillary and outbuildings.

The building categories are defined in the Building (Designation of Building Work Licensing Classes) Order 2010.

These are the new building categories:
 

Building categoryDefinitionDescription
Category 1 buildings

1. SH use and

2. risk score of 12 or less for any external elevation

 Single household dwellings with low-or medium-risk envelope design.
Category 2 buildings

 1. SH use and

2. risk score greater than 12 for any external elevation.

OR

1. not SH use, and

2.building height less than 10m.

 Single household dwellings with high-risk envelope design, or ther buildings with a building height*less than 10m.
Category 3 buildings 1. not SH use, and building height greater than 10m All buildings 10m or greater in building height*, except single household dwellings.

 

 

VariableDefinition
Use (SH or other)

SH means sleeping single home.

SH use includes detached dwellings where people live as a single household or family, including attached self-contained spaces such as granny flats when occupied by a member of the same family.

Risk score

Risk score is based on the E2/AS1 risk matrix, which scores risk according to a building:

  • wind zone
  • number of storeys
  • roof/wall intersections
  • eaves width
  • envelope complexity
  • deck designs
Building heightBuilding height means the vertical distance between the upper surfaces of the floors of the buildings lowest and highest storeys.

 You can ask just three questions about a building to determine its category:

Is the building SH use? 
 

  • Yes -> Is the Risk score 12 or under? -> Yes-> Category 1 
  • Yes -> Is the Risk score 12 or under? -> No -> Category 2 
  • No -> Is the Building height less than 10 m? -> Yes -> Category 2 
  • No -> Is the Building height less than 10 m? -> No -> Category 3

 

Category 1

Category 1 buildings are single household dwellings with low- or medium-risk envelope design.

Specifically: 
 

  • SH use, and 
  • risk score of 12 or less for any external elevation. 

 Example 1

Single household dwelling

Use: The house is a single household dwelling (SH)

Risk score: The house has a risk matrix score of 0 based on E2/AS1 on all elevations shown, based on:
 

  • medium wind zone (assumed) 
  • single storey 
  • low-risk roof/wall intersections 
  • 600 mm eaves 
  • simple design with brick veneer claddings 
  • low-risk deck.

A Category 1 building is defined as SH use, with a maximum of 12 risk score on any elevation. Therefore, this building is Category 1.Top

 

Category 2

Category 2 buildings are single household dwellings with high-risk envelope design, or other buildings with a building height of 10 m or less. Specifically:
 

  • SH use, and 
  • risk score greater than 12 for any external elevation.

or 

  • not SH use, and 
  • building height less than 10 m. 

Example 2

 

Elevation risk score house

Use: The house is a single household dwelling – SH use.

Risk score: The house has elevation risk scores greater than 12, based on E2/AS1 factors: 

  • high wind zone (assumed) 
  • 2 storeys 
  • high-risk roof/wall intersections 
  • 600 mm eaves, but at two storeys this is a medium risk 
  • high or very high envelope complexity depending on the elevation 
  • high-risk roof decks.

This building is SH use, so it cannot be a Category 3. It has a risk score greater than 12, so it cannot be Category 1. Therefore, it must be Category 2.

Example 3

Commercial building 

This is a four-storey, mixed-use commercial building with a building height of 9.6 m.

The building’s use is not SH, so it could be Category 2 or 3, but the building height is less than 10 m, therefore, it is a Category 2 building.

 

Category 3

Category 3 buildings are buildings 10 m or greater in building height, except single household dwellings.
Specifically: 

  • not SH use, and 
  • building height 10 m or greater.

Example 4

Five storey building 

This is a five-storey apartment building (SR use). It sits between two ground levels. The height from the floor level of the highest storey to the upper ground level is 6 m, and 12 m to the lowest ground level.

Use: The building is not SH use because it is not a single household dwelling.

Height: The building height is 12 m.

A Category 3 building is defined as not SH use, where the building height is greater than 10 m. Therefore, this is a Category 3 building.Top

 

Total risk score

A total risk score for an external elevation on the building envelope of a building is calculated by using the calculation and definitions of risk table below.
 

ElevationRisk severity   Subtotal
Risk factorLowMediumHighVery high 
Wind zone0012 
Number of storeys0124 
Roof/elevation intersection design0135 
Eaves width0125 
Envelope complexity0136 
Deck design0246 
    Total risk score 

 

Definition of risk table (E2/AS1)

Wind zone

Low risk

Medium risk

High risk

Very high risk

 

Low wind zone as described by NZS 3604:1999

Medium wind zone as described by NZS 3604:1999

High wind zone as described by NZS 3604:1999

Very high wind zone as described by NZS 3604:1999

 

Number of storeys

Low risk

Medium risk

High risk

Very high risk

One storey

Two storeys part

Two storeys

More than 2 storeys

Roof/elevation intersection design

Low risk

Medium risk

High risk

Very high risk

 

Roof-to-elevation intersection fully protected (eg. hip and gable roof with eaves)

Roof-to-elevation intersection partly exposed (eg. hip and gable roof with no eaves)

Roof-to-elevation intersection fully exposed (eg. parapets, enclosed balustrades, or eaves at > 90° to vertical with soffit lining)

Roof elements finishing within the boundaries formed by the external elevations (eg, lower ends of aprons, chimneys, dormers)

 

Eaves width

Low risk

Medium risk

High risk

Very high risk

 

>600mm for single storey

451-600mm for single storey, or >600mm for 2 storey

101–450 mm for single storey, or 451–600 mm for 2 storey, or > 600 mm above 2 storey

0–100 mm for single storey, or 0–450 mm for 2 storey, or 600 mm or less above 2 Storey

 

Envelope complexity

Low risk

Medium risk

High risk

Very high risk

 

Simple rectangular, L, T, or boomerang shape, with single cladding type

Moderately complex, angular, or curved shapes (eg, Y or arrowhead) with no more than 2 cladding types

Complex, angular, or curved shapes (eg, Y or arrowhead) with multiple cladding types

As for high risk, but with junctions not covered in the rows of this table about roof/elevation intersection design and deck design (eg, box windows, pergolas, or multi-storey re-entrant shapes)

 

Deck design

Low risk

Medium risk

High risk

Very high risk

 

None, timber slat deck or porch at ground-floor level

Fully covered in plan by roof, or timber slat deck attached at first- or second-floor level

Enclosed deck exposed in plan or cantilevered at first-floor level

Enclosed deck exposed in plan or cantilevered at second- floor level or above

 

Last updated 14 June 2013