Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
Professional Building Consultants Ltd specialise in the processing of building consents and inspections of residential buildings, and we act as an agent under contract to Auckland Council. We do this work on their behalf, however, your point of contact is us.
At this stage, we do not undertake projects located in other city council areas, or projects involving commercial or industrial buildings.
Why would I choose to come to PBC?
• We are a professional, dynamic business that is focused on achieving the best result for you during your project, while at the same time ensuring your building complies with the minimum requirements of the Building Code
• Many of our customers prefer to deal with a personable private business than a large Council
• We have considerable experience and are very customer focused
• We work hard to deliver your building consent within the timeframes required
• We recognise that our customers have a choice and work hard to retain their business
• Our team is focused on consistency of approach and quality of delivery
• We strive to be the best at what we do
How do I apply for a building consent?
We accept and process all building consent applications electronically and on-line.
When you have your plans, specifications, forms and associated documents ready to go, just lodge them electronically through our Lodge an Application page. If you wish to discuss a proposal, feel free to contact us or visit us in our offices during work hours. No appointment is necessary, however if you wish, we are happy to book a meeting time.
What do I need to provide?
• Plans and specification (see below for details)
• Recent copy of your Certificate of Title (we can obtain these for a fee if required)
• Signed PBC Client Checklist (download by clicking here)
• Signed council form(s) and checklist (download the relevant application form(s) by clicking here).
• Completed Certificate(s) of Design Work
All files to be uploaded are required to be in .pdf format
What assistance do we provide?
We will provide the following services to you when you lodge your building consent and code compliance certificate applications:
• Vet the application on behalf of the council
• Lodge the application online to the Auckland Council system
• Receive and forward all communication to your contact person
• Track the live days taken to process your application
• Chase your application through the Council system if necessary
• Discuss issues with the Council on your behalf to alleviate issues.
• Provide advice to you throughout the process.
What is the Process?
PBC accepts building consent applications as an agent on behalf of Auckland Council, and vets the documentation to check for completeness. The application is then uploaded electronically to Auckland Council’s online consenting system.
A notification and link is then sent from the Auckland Council system to the contact person requiring them to make payment of the required deposit (direct to Auckland Council). Once this payment is made, the application is then confirmed as being accepted for processing.
The next step is that the application is processed concurrently by us (to determine compliance with the building code) and Auckland Council’s planning team, development engineering team and other specialist teams as required. Where it is identified that additional information is required, a request for Further information (RFI) letter is generated and sent to the nominated contact.
Once all of the requested information is received and confirmed as being correct, PBC will upload the completed application with a recommendation to grant the consent application. Upon all departments notifying the building consent team the application is recommended to grant, then Council will complete and grant the consent, and generate an invoice for the balance of fees owing.
Once payment has been confirmed, the consent documents will be issued electronically to the applicant.
What is the processing clock?
The New Zealand Building Act requires a Building Consent to be processed and issued within 20 live working days.
PBC monitors this by having two processing clocks. One monitors the Council statutory requirement of 20 working days and the other our processing clock of 10 live working days.
The statutory time frame (Council Clock) starts once the building consent has been accepted into the Councils processing system. The building consent then processed through a number of different teams who check for compliance, these may include resource management planning, development engineering, PBC processing, and regulatory support (issuance and invoicing). At any stage during this process one of these teams can suspend the building consent by asking for further information. The processing clock is then suspended until the correct information is provided. The net live days taken to process the building consent is the time that makes up the legal requirement of 20 live working days.
Once a Building Consent application has been accepted by the Council and forwarded to PBC for processing, the PBC clock starts. PBC will then check the building, plumbing and drainage and engineering components in the application. If further information is requested the clock will be suspended until the correct information is provided. Once answered correctly the PBC clock will start again until the PBC’s component of the project is complete. At this stage the PBC clock will stop. The project will then be uploaded to the Council for completion of the process and issue of the building consent.
What happens if you need further information?
During processing of your consent, we or council may require further information or revisions to the design. We will communicate this to you either by phone or email. This is known as an RFI letter, and your consent will then be ‘suspended’ until such time as this information is received.
If you have any queries regarding a request for information received, then please give us a call to discuss.
How long does it take?
The Building Act requires that Council issue the building consent within 20 working days. This does not include days that are counted as ‘suspended’. Please feel free to give us a call to discuss the likely timeframe for your consent.
How do I get an update on progress?
If you would like an update on how things are going with your application please feel free to give the office a call to discuss on (09) 272 3443, or alternatively you can request an update online by clicking here.
How much will my building consent cost?
Fees for building consents vary dependant on the complexity and size of the project, and also between different councils. If you would like to get an estimate of the likely cost, then feel free to contact our office, and we will do our best to assist you.
Please note that all PBC charges for the processing and approval of the plans, as well as the prepaid inspection fees, are charged directly to the council. These fees are then included in the final invoice issued to the applicant by the council upon approval of the building consent.
How do I pick up my approved consent?
Upon notification of the approval of your building consent, you will be sent a link to make payment of any outstanding fees. Once payment has been made and confirmed, the approved documents will be forwarded to you in an email with a link to download them.
Please Note: We do not provide a hard copy of the approved documentation (which includes all plans). It is the applicants responsibility to provide their own hard copies for use on site. The only exception is the PBC Inspection Booklet, which will be posted to the first point of contact unless stated otherwise. This is required to remain on site at all times.
What happens next?
At certain points during construction, inspections will need to be undertaken by us to determine that the building is being constructed in accordance with the approved building consent. Those inspections will be nominated on your approved building consent pack, however a rough rule of thumb is that if the work is to be covered up, then we will need to inspect it first.
How do I book an inspection?
Inspections can be booked by calling our office on (09) 272 3443 or alternatively you can make an inspection booking online by clicking here. For ease, please have ready your PBC reference number, shown in your documentation. Where possible we will endeavour to give you a firm time for the booking. If you require the inspector to contact you by phone prior to arriving, then please state this when making your inspection booking.
What do I need for the inspection?
The approved plans, specifications and inspection record must remain on site at all times, and be available for all inspections. In the event that the plans are not available, we will not be able to complete the inspection. This will then need to be rebooked.
When can I book a final inspection?
You will be ready for your final inspection once all the work covered by the building consent is completed.
How do I get my Code Compliance Certificate?
Once your final inspection has been approved, an application for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) can be made. We will process this application in the same manner as the building consent. Once we receive that application we will review and advise what documentation is still required to be provided. Those documentation requirements will be noted on the final inspection record also.
Once all the required information has been provided, checked and accepted as correct we will upload the completed documentation pack to the Auckland Council online system with a recommendation to grant the CCC.
Once the CCC has been granted by Auckland Council, and any outstanding fees paid (e.g. inspections and CCC processing fees), the CCC will be issued and sent to you by email.
How do I make a complaint?
If you have used our service and feel dissatisfied, we encourage you to let us know by emailing us at email@example.com We will respond to you within 48 hours.
How do I apply for a determination?
If you would like MBIE to make a determination on your matter of dispute, you can find out how to make an application, what supporting documents are needed, what the fee is. Click here.
What projects can PBC accept?
PBC’s Scope of Accreditation is approved as the “processing and inspection of building consent applications limited to the following building categories:” Residential buildings - defined as;
a) Houses, or duplex units and
b) Multi unit developments (i.e. 3 or more attached dwelling units) where the units have no more than three stories, and
c) Any associated outbuilding and ancillary structures
Click here to read PBC’s Certificate of Accreditation
General Consumer Information
Where can I find Auckland Council’s information on
How to apply for a building consent?
How an application for a building consent is processed?
How building work is inspected?
How building work is inspected and certified?
How unauthorised building work is assessed?
Exempt Building work
Restricted Building Work and LBP’s?
Compliance Schedules and Building Warrant of fitness?
Owner Building Exemptions
Need any further information?
You can download our Important Information sheets from the 'Forms and Checklists' page of this site, or alternatively, feel free to give us a call to discuss the process and any issues you may like clarified.