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Certificate Of Acceptance (Structural)

Updated: May 15

What is a certificate of acceptance?

A Certificate of Acceptance (COA) has similarities to a Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC) however it is not the same. It is issued by the local council for construction work that does not have a building consent but reasonably demonstrate it meets NZ building code. It provides validation for future owners (and banks/insurers) to confirm that the work is safe and sanitary.


What are common structural related reasons for a COAs?

Removal of internal load bearing walls and open-plan renovations, adding new or increasing the size of openings to exterior walls, modifications to the foundations, minor dwellings or sleep outs above 30 square metres, canopies or awnings larger than 20 square metres.


What is involved in getting a certificate of acceptance for structural related work?

You will need to provide evidence to satisfy the local council that the works meets all the requirements of the Building Code. The scope can vary greatly from minor removal of internal walls to full unconsented buildings. Generally you will need to have an appropriately qualified licensed building practitioner (LBP) such as a qualified carpenter or engineer to review and confirm the works meets building code. Sometimes this involves reports, drawings and supplementary documentation such as photos and calculations. You would then submit this to the council for their review and acceptance.


Why don't I just get a Code of Compliance?

A CCC can only be issued for works that have a building consent. A building consent can only be issued for work that has not yet started. In all other cases, a COA is the only remaining form of compliance mechanism to have council approve the works.


Why should I use a structural engineer for certificate of acceptance?

We will advocate for you and can go above and beyond the prescriptive NZ standards by using our professional engineering judgement. We use our scientific expertise to demonstrate compliance through calculations where a qualifed carpenter can only adhere to prescriptive "yes/no" building methods such as NZS3604. There are some cases where a structural engineer cannot be avoided such as "grey" areas of the code where our judgement is required. Being chartered engineers and listed on Auckland Council's register, we have rapport and trust to carry out such work, thereby generally leading to less requests for information (RFI). Engineers are thorough and specialists.


How much does it cost and how long does it take?

The overall COA process will take between of 2 months-4 months depending on how fast any repairs can be made and how fast council can process the application. We cannot comment on the actual repair work costs as the scope could vary greatly such as no repair required to full foundation re-piling). For the fees, this typically is in the range of $1700-3400 for engineering fees to produce report(s), produce a remedial design, attend site visits and certify the work. In addition to this, council fees could range from $1400 - $2500. This is depending on how much repair work will be required to get it to a compliant state. We provide a no obligation quote for any structural engineering services. All our fees are clearly laid out with the inclusions and exclusions.


What are thesteps?

Contact a professional! Whether this is a builder or engineer. This is the first step to getting some initial direction. Your local council is also a great place however generally they are less responsive and may not always be able to provide acute advice to your situation. Photos & a site visit is always the best place to start.


The typical process requires a professional report. Once the condition of the works has been ascertained - your LBP can then advise you on what elements fall short of the building code (or not). A plan to fix this can be made. This can include a design sketch or drawings. From there the physical remedial works can begin. Once complete, you can apply for a COA.


Contact us today using our booking form! If you have no idea where to start, we would be happy to point you in the right direction.

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