With the New Zealand Government announcing the downgrading of the COVID-19 lockdown to Alert Level 3, Optimum Air would like to provide the following update to customers regarding the resulting implications of Air Conditioning, Heating and Ventilating (HVAC) systems, and what the recommended course of action is for the reoccupying of buildings.
Under COVID-19 Alert Level 3, the government has advised that most work can be carried out in the building and construction sector, so long as extra safety measures and physical distancing protocols have been put in place.
What we are doing
Like all other businesses, Optimum Air has adapted operations in response to the government’s downgrading to Alert Level 3. Our Business Continuity Plan continues to be implemented and we are taking every possible step to limit the impact to employees, customers and other stakeholders. We continue to closely monitor and follow the health advisories published by the various government departments, with the following measures remaining in place:
Made hand sanitization facilities available in common areas within workspaces.
Where possible, staff continue to work remotely. Our office has reopened, but with minimal employees present.
All internal and external meetings to be conducted through Microsoft Teams, 3CX or similar web-based communications tools.
Employees have been clearly advised not to attend work if they display symptoms that could indicate a viral infection: fever, sore throat, cough, etc.
Employees have similarly been advised to utilize appropriate personal protective equipment, whilst maintaining high standards of social distancing and hygiene practices.
Optimum Air service teams are dispersed widely across our region, working in varying geographical areas throughout our major hubs. The ability of office-based employees to work remotely has been successful throughout Alert Level 4 and prior, and we continue to remain confident in our ability to maintain service levels at this challenging time. We acknowledge that there may be some delays in the delivery of specific equipment, however we will work with customers and suppliers to maintain service as best as possible.
Reoccupying Buildings under COVID-19 Alert Level 3
With some buildings being reoccupied under Alert Level 3, It is important for all building owners to be aware of their obligations with respect to ensuring their building(s) and surrounds are safe for everyone to use.
Building owners are obliged to ensure the correct intended and optimal operation of specified systems under which they were installed. Buildings that were not occupied during Alert Level 4 likely ceased relevant inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures, while occupied buildings most likely operated with a reduced frequency or type of inspections.
Under these scenarios, we advise our customers to talk to us before reoccupation in order to inspect and test any relevant systems that we installed, service or maintain.
Managing Building Warrants of Fitness (BWoF) responsibilities
The following information has been provided by the Ministry of Building, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).
Restrictions put in place under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 prevented some building owners and owner’s agents from carrying out inspection, maintenance and reporting (IMR) procedures according to the buildings compliance schedule.
The Building Act 2004 (the Act) requires completion of all IMR procedures in the buildings compliance schedule for the previous 12 months, in order for a BWoF to be issued. Unfortunately, the Act does not provide any flexibility or exemptions to this requirement. This means for those buildings where IMR procedures have been missed, at the time the next BWoF is due, a valid BWoF will not be able to be supplied or displayed.
For more information please contact Optimum Air on 0800 678 247.