Compliance paths

Compliance paths help you to demonstrate compliance in ways that are familiar to building consent authorities.

Building consent authorities use defined ‘compliance paths’ to help them determine whether a proposed building work will comply with the performance requirements in the Building Code. Using these compliance paths can help designers to demonstrate compliance.

Whichever option or options are used, the designer will have to provide evidence that clearly shows how the proposal meets or exceeds the relevant Code requirements.

Compliance path options 

There are nine compliance paths. The first five are Alternative Methods, which means the designer will need to show how they comply with the Building Code. 

Paths 6–9 are ‘deemed to comply’, which means the building consent authority (BCA) must accept them if the design follows them exactly.

  1. Comparison with an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method – This option is suitable for minor variations from Acceptable Solutions. Read more.
  2. Comparison with other documents – This option uses reputable sources such as MBIE determinations and BRANZ appraisals to demonstrate compliance. Read more.
  3. Comparison with an in-service history – This option is helpful where the proposed product or method has been used successfully in similar applications. Read more.
  4. Expert opinion – This option can be helpful for specific proposals or to demonstrate the performance of existing details. Read more.
  5. Comparison with a previously accepted Alternative Solution – This can be a fairly straightforward way to provide evidence of Code compliance. Read more.
  6. Product certification – Products and methods that are certified under the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's CodeMark scheme must be accepted as complying with the Building Code, so long as they are used according to CodeMark instructions. Multiproof (for standardised designs) and BuiltReady (for modular components built offsite) are two other certification schemes. Read more.
  7. MBIE Determination – Determinations provide specific confirmation that a proposal meets Code requirements. Read more.
  8. Verification Methods – A Verification Method is a test or calculation method for demonstrating Code compliance. Verification methods are useful for some aspects of renovation work, such as energy efficiency and structural performance. Read more.
  9. Acceptable Solutions – Acceptable Solutions are likely to be useful for completely new work and for structure and weathertightness aspects of renovations. Read more.

A combination of methods

To demonstrate Building Code compliance a designer can use a single compliance path, or a combination of two or more paths. Alternatively, one compliance path may provide part of an Alternative Solution while another compliance path provides the balance of the solution.

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Selecting the relevant compliance path(s)

To determine which compliance path or paths to use, and how to demonstrate compliance, follow these steps. 

Whichever compliance path is chosen for each aspect of building performance, the designer will have to provide the BCA with evidence showing how compliance is to be achieved.

Step Action
1 Identify the aspects of the proposed design that fall outside the scope of Acceptable Solutions
2 Identify the Building Code clauses for which performance must be demonstrated by the design and supporting documentation.
3 Identify the performance criteria that apply.
4 Select the most relevant compliance path(s).
5 Determine what type of information is required to demonstrate compliance.
6 Provide the evidence.