We publish Practice Notes to help educate members on engineering issues. If you’re looking for guidance in a specific area of interest, you’re in the right place.

Practice Notes

Our Practice Notes explain practices and procedures for a wide variety of engineering topics. Depending on the subject matter, they can range from several pages to a couple of hundred.

The Engineering Practice Advisory Committee (EPAC) approves the development of Engineering New Zealand’s Practice Notes. We write them to reflect:

  • responses to trends
  • professional issues of topical interest
  • matters arising from significant occurrences.

Practice Note 1: Guidelines on Producer Statements (2014)

Producer statements were developed to help reduce time and costs for processing consent applications. Learn about the 3 kinds of producer statements, and how and when to use them.

Guidelines on Producer Statements   |  710.1 KB

Practice Note 2: Peer Review (version 2: 2018)

This Practice Note covers:

  • clear definitions of types of peer review
  • how to differentiate between peer reveiews and other types of review
  • step-by-step guidance on how to conduct a peer review. 

Peer Review Practice Note - Version 2   |  830.5 KB

Practice Note 4: Health and Safety by Design

This practice note provides clarity around a design engineer's obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) for Health and Safety by Design. It's relevant to all engineering disciplines and demonstrates how earlier involvement in a project leads to greater impact in keeping everyone safe.

Health and Safety by Design   |  894.4 KB

Workshop outline   |  34.0 KB

Workshop capture record template   |  37.0 KB

Practice Note 6: Developing and Maintaining Client Relationships (2006)

Your credibility is largely based on non-technical skills that help you manage the client-consultant relationship, such as professionalism and communication. Learn about the benefits of creating and optimising positive working relationships with clients.

Developing and Maintaining Client Relationships   |  297.8 KB

Practice Note 8: Being Ethical (2019)

The Code of Ethical Conduct outlines your duty to the public and to each other. This Practice Note is designed to help you understand the eight principles. Find out why ethics is at the core of engineering practice and how ethical practice is key to your reputation. 

Being Ethical   |  381.7 KB

Practice Note 9: Commissioning Capital Plant (2007)

Learn how to create a plan to successfully commission capital plants. Find out how to:

  • manage your project manager
  • walk vendors through the process
  • schedule site time and attendance
  • choose the right team.

Commissioning Capital Plant   |  990.3 KB

Practice Note 10: Urban Design (2007)

Learn how to adopt the Urban Design Protocol in your engineering activities and the importance of delivering better social and functional urban environments to serve our communities. Find out how to:

  • raise awareness of urban design
  • develop strategy and policy
  • influence the client
  • make decisions

Urban Design   |  238.3 KB

Practice Note 11: Land Development Processes (2007)

Learn about the processes involved in gaining resource or building consent. Find out more about how certain Acts affect land development and how to navigate resource and building consent processes.

Land Development Processes   |  2.2 MB

Practice Note 12: Operator Protective Structures (2014)

Learn about the processes involved in selecting, designing and verifying protective structures for self-propelled mobile mechanical plants including:

  • excavators
  • loggers
  • tractors
  • crane-like machinery.

Targeting the construction, forestry and agriculture sectors, this Practice Note can help heavy vehicle engineers in those industries understand how to assess the need and type of frame, roof and side grill for each vehicle.

Operator Protective Structures   |  534.8 KB

Practice Note 13: Constructability (2008)

Constructability is a project management technique for reviewing construction processes from start to finish during the pre-construction phase. Learn how to:

  • carry out constructability reviews
  • balance project constraints like “buildability” and sustainability
  • complete project goals
  • improve building performance.

Constructability   |  327.2 KB

Practice Note 14: Structural Engineering Design Office Practice (2009)

Structural engineering practice has come under scrutiny since the Canterbury Earthquakes. Learn about the fundamentals of structural engineering office design to improve the overall quality of structural design services.

Structural Engineering Design Office Practice   |  389.2 KB

Practice Note 15: Coldstore Engineering in New Zealand (2009)

Learn all there is to know about coldstore engineering, including:

  • the structure, insulation, and refrigeration components
  • electrical needs, operations and maintenance
  • historical fires
  • how to reduce fire risks.

Coldstore Engineering in New Zealand   |  2.3 MB

Practice Note 18: HSNO-Compliant Buildings for Flammable Substances (2010)

Learn about the importance of confirming the viability of a building project in terms of land use and resource management controls. Find out about:

  • hazard classification of substances
  • test certification
  • codes of practice.

HSNO-Compliant Buildings for Flammable Substances   |  294.5 KB

Practice Note 19: Seismic Resistance of Pressure Equipment (2019)

Learn about the potential seismic forces on a variety of structures and vessels. Find out how to:

  • contain pressurised fluids and gases during and after an earthquake
  • derive seismic loads on mechanical parts
  • design structures and foundations in accordance with the needs of the pressure equipment
  • integrate new equipment into existing plant according to the law
  • provide design statements templates for certification.

Seismic Resistance of Pressure Equipment   |  3.6 MB

Practice Note 21: Farm Dairy Effluent Ponds (2017)

Learn about best practice engineering design for effluent ponds to address the needs of the Resource Management Act. Find out about:

  • types of ponds
  • soil properties
  • irrigation and drainage
  • construction
  • quality assurance.

Farm Dairy Effluent Ponds   |  6.6 MB

Practice Note 22: Guidelines for Documenting Fire Safety Designs (2011)

Find out how fire designers should clearly record and communicate design features that impact fire safety, and how to document the final detail of fire safety design.

Guidelines for Documenting Fire Safety Designs   |  617.3 KB

Practice Note 27: Farm Dairy Infrastructure (2017)

Learn about best practice and various legislations in the design and construction of key dairy farm infrastructure components, such as:

  • underpasses
  • concrete structures
  • feed pads.

Farm Dairy Infrastructure   |  8.8 MB

Practice Note 28: Screw Piles – Guidelines for Design, Construction and Installation (2015)

Learn about the critical elements of screw pile design, certification, installation and testing. This Practice Note is sponsored by Piletech. It provides recommendations for good practice for engineers, developers, and local authorities when selecting a pile design and construction contractor.

Screw Piles - Guidelines for Design, Construction and Installation   |  2.6 MB

Practice Note 29: Dairy Housing (2015)

Learn how to develop, design, and build structures to house dairy cows. Find out about:

  • design aspects to consider for housing options
  • factors affecting housed cow comfort
  • best practice management principles for housed cows
  • options for future-proofing your barn
  • Code of Welfare minimum standards.

Dairy Housing   |  10.3 MB

Practice Note 32: Climate Action – the role of the engineer (2024)

Learn about your role and responsibilities in mitigating, transitioning and adapting to climate change. Find out about:

  • the background: the wider context of climate change
  • an engineer’s responsibility
  • guidance for engineers
  • competencies.

Climate Action – the role of the engineer   |  1.7 MB