Greenmeadows Centre - Frequently Asked Questions
The public have asked a number of questions relating to the building inspection process, and the tender process. We've outlined these processes below.
Why didn't the building inspectors pick up on the issues earlier?
To answer this question - it's important to understand the role of Building Inspectors, what they do and when.
Nelson City Council (NCC) is the accredited building consent authority for the Nelson region. This means that NCC processes and monitors building consents in Nelson, according to the New Zealand Building Act and Building Code. This regulatory role is independent of Council's other roles.
Building inspections are a part of the building consent process. These inspections are scheduled to occur at specific stages, to determine the work is being completed in accordance with the building code, and to ensure enough information is available to issue a code compliance certificate at the end of the project.
Typically, inspections will cover foundations, framing and insulation, plumbing and drainage, cladding and flashings, and the finished build. A residential build may only have 10-15 inspections, where a large commercial project can have significantly more depending on the complexity of the project.
During an inspection, the building inspector will detail the findings of the inspection. These can be recorded as:
- Pass - all items are as per the approved plans and specifications
- Pass NC (Not Complete) - some minor outstanding items or documentation
- Fail - further work or documentation is required to fix or complete before the inspection can be passed
If an item fails an inspection, then the building consent holder is informed, and it is up to them to rectify or resolve the issue.
It is important to note - the building inspectors are not responsible for quality assurance. That is the role of the builder or contractor. The inspectors' role is to ensure the works comply with the Building Code. Inspectors only see a sample of work, as they are present on site for only a short period of time.
It is the role of the engaged structural engineer to certify any structural elements of the project, this is not the role of the building inspector.
A guide to the building consent inspection process can be found on our Building consent inspections and certification page.
Building inspections at the Greenmeadows Centre.
By the end of July 2018, there had been 40 site inspections for the Greenmeadows Centre.
Each inspection generates an inspection report, which outlines any items of non-compliance. Items can fail simply due to that particular item not being totally complete. An example of this is the building wrap inspections. These have been inspected multiple times (for multiple areas) to ensure work was being completed to standard, however, this cannot be registered as a pass until all areas are complete. It will be marked as a fail until it is complete.
Inspectors will undertake an inspection of all relevant works when they are onsite. This often will often result in multiple inspections of the same section depending on progress. A number of inspections were booked weekly, so some elements may not have been ready for re-inspection when the inspection occurred.
The contractor is aware of all the site inspections reports, as they are present during the inspections. A hard copy of each site inspection report was provided to the contractor's site manager and Council's external project manager.
As of the end of July 2018, the inspections have shown that 139 items passed, 25 items passed nc (not complete) and 92 items fail (either not complete enough, documentation not available or remediation required).
Did Council follow an appropriate tender process with this project?
A number of questions have been raised by the public about the tender process for the project.
For this project, Council advertised for a 'Registration of Interest (ROI)', to determine if construction firms were available to undertake this project. ROI's were received and assessed to determine if they were appropriate. A part of this ROI assessment included a weighting towards firms with a local presence in the market.
Once the ROI was completed, Council went out for tender, with those successful ROI respondents being invited to tender.
The tender process used by Nelson City Council for this project was the 'Price Quality method', assessing both the priced and non-priced elements of the tender. Non-priced elements include methodology, management practice and procedures, relevant skills and resources.
The tender was awarded to Watts and Hughes following the tender process.
This process was later audited by an external party, due to concerns raised by one of the unsuccessful tenderers. The audit concluded that:
(i) Watts and Hughes had the highest non-price attributes and the lowest tendered price (included reference checks)
(ii) Watts and Hughes would still be the preferred tenderer if other standard tender evaluation methods were used. This was considered in the review as a further means of assurance that fairness and equity had not been compromised by the evaluation process.
(iii) There is nothing to suggest a conflict of interest exists and/or has influenced the outcome of the evaluation.
(iv) The value and price margins between the preferred tender and the other tenders and the resulting value and price benefits to the council as the client are substantial.