Design Guidelines

The 2016 CIC Guidelines are here – download them here by clicking on the individual chapters 0-9 below, and view the NZIA Guidelines webinar below:

It has always been a requirement of the Guidelines that they are edited to suit the particular project circumstances. Each stage of the CIC Guidelines has been pre-populated for a project where the tasks and deliverables are for a project where the construction contract is ‘traditional’ (i.e. tendered, no novation, or other). This was considered by the 2016 review committee as a way of saving time as most contracts vary only slightly from this.

ADVICE: It is essential that any user of the Guidelines reviews and edits them prior to issue otherwise they will describe the tasks and deliverables for a ‘traditional’ project only. If you are using the Guidelines, please take the time to edit them to suit your particular project requirements or role.

Download the documents and save them to your desktop prior to editing within Adobe Acrobat Reader. Editing documents within an internet browser limits saving options.

0-CIC-2016 Preface-Preamble-Glossary

1-CIC-2016 Title page



4-CIC-2016 Preliminary Design


6-CIC-2016 Detailed Design

7-CIC-2016 Procurement

8-CIC-2016 Construction Administration Observation

9-CIC-2016 Post Completion

This Guideline revision is timely given the changes in the design and construction industry over the last ten years since the first Guidelines came out. As a bit of background, the CIC commenced development of the original Guidelines in 2003 following growing concerns of the impact (and limited understanding) of poor documentation on the building industry in New Zealand. At that time, the Guidelines were the subject of wide industry consultation, as well as an international search on good practice.

From their original adoption by the industry, the CIC Guidelines have become widely adopted and used, and now represent the single most cohesive interdisciplinary Guidelines available in New Zealand. They have been a well referenced and used resource across the construction industry over the past ten years.

Notable changes in the last ten years include the Canterbury Royal Commission, which seeks among other things, earlier collaboration between engineers and architects, introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which creates ‘safety in design’ obligations and requirements on designers and an increasing use of BIM on projects. Other matters include new requirements in Safety in Design assessments/reports, Environmentally Sustainable Design, Building Information Modelling, along with other updated delivery modes for building processes.

The CIC Guidelines are recommended for use in all building projects, and are considered important in the overall development of a quality built environment. They are part of a suite of Guidelines and evolving good practice for the industry, as well as for clients and decision-makers. The CIC is grateful for industry input to the update of the Guidelines, and is delighted to be able to support the ongoing and collective improvement of the built environment sector’s contribution to the New Zealand economy.

Future reviews of the Guideline resource will be scheduled on a more regular basis or when any significant regulation impacting it is released. A more structured process of periodic review of the Guidelines will ensure their ongoing value to all users. Suggestions for their improvement as a result of their use are always welcome, please get in touch with your questions, comments or feedback.

See Guidelines webinar here: