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”NZ could save USD 1.5 bn a year through digital consents”

New Zealand: The New Zealand building industry has proposed to set up a national online system for building consents. Building industry and government agency representatives have even floated the initial concept of a national online system for building consents to pertinent ministers. “We’re asking: if there were a national online consenting system, what would it look like, what’s the ownership model; what’s the liability model and so forth,” said one of the prime movers, Simon Lloyd-Evans, CIO of the Building and Housing group at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“There is a clear and present need for a consistent online consenting process,” Lloyd-Evans said. The online consenting application will require consistent digital representation of buildings and their location and Lloyd-Evans said he sees this as having other important benefits. It will combine building information modelling (BIM), GIS and consenting, which he said could be a world first for New Zealand. “To the best of my knowledge there is no other jurisdiction that has achieved this,” he said.

Currently “the construction sector has multiple rich sources of information, but they aren’t [working to] a standard,” he told the Digital Earth Summit, in Wellington. “Everybody’s doing their own thing and we need to collaborate.”

The “size of the prize” is about USD 1.5 billion, annually he said; this represents a predicted 10 percent increase in the productivity of the construction sector; “that’s one percent of GDP.”

There could be all manner of downstream beneficial effects, he said. Firefighters, for example, could have access to the data and would know accurately where inflammable material is located in a building.

Source: Computer World