Closing school property projects

Closing a school property project involves doing a final inspection, getting council sign-off and managing the defects liability period. These tasks are done by the project manager engaged for the project.


Doing a final inspection

Once work on a building project has finished, the contractors will advise you. You will need to organise a final inspection with the school representative and project control group members. While walking around the construction area, this group checks whether:

  • the site is clean and tidy
  • anything appears to be incomplete.

From their feedback, prepare a list of any incomplete or unsatisfactory items for the contractor to fix.

See: Project control groups and school representatives.

Managing the defects liability period

The defects liability period is the time allowed for the contractor to fix defects after completing the work. These defects may be identified in the final inspection or during the liability period. Unless items are under warranty, you can’t get the contractor to fix them under the contract after the defects liability period ends.

The contract states the length of the defects liability period according to the work involved. Specialist building features, such as heating systems, may have a longer period to allow a full year of use.

Maintenance retention sum

During the defects liability period, withhold a maintenance retention sum from the final payment to make sure that defects get fixed. The contract states how much to retain.

If the contractor does not fix defects within a reasonable time, discuss it with the board and follow the dispute resolution clauses in the contract.

You might need to organise another contractor to complete the work. Talk to the school’s Ministry property advisor first, as building warranties could be affected if work is completed by a different contractor.

You can ask the board to authorise paying the retention sum when all the work is completed to the specified standard.

Getting local council sign-off

If the project required building consent, the council must issue a Code Compliance Certificate before anyone can use the building, unless you already arranged a Certificate for Public Use to permit the board to use a finished part of the building.

See: Local council requirements for school property projects.

Sending the final documentation to the Ministry

At the end of the project, you must send all the final paperwork to the Ministry so that we can close the project and pay out the retention sum.

You must complete the:

  • Occupancy Use Certificate
  • Construction Observation Certificate
  • Asset update form.

See: Project management forms.

You can send us your final documentation before you have completed the local council documentation.

Collecting the warranties; handing over the files

Collect all the building and product warranties and hand them to the board with the project documentation.

The board needs to maintain the building product in a certain way to keep the warranty.

The board needs to keep the project file for the life of the building.

Re-tendering for future projects

Let the board know that you will be letting the contractors go. The board cannot retain contractors for a later project unless this work was included in the original tender and contract.

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