Have your say on changes to Non-Earthquake-Prone Buildings Seismic Assessment Guidelines

Posted: 4 July 2024

Non-EPB seismic assessment guidelines
Have your say on proposed changes to the Seismic Assessment Guidelines for Non-Earthquake Prone Buildings by 15 August 2024.

Engineering New Zealand, on behalf of the Joint Committee for Seismic Assessment and Retrofit, is asking for feedback on proposed changes to the Non-Earthquake Prone Buildings (EPB) Seismic Assessment Guidelines


The Red Book is the informal name given to the 2017 Seismic Assessments of Existing Buildings – Technical Guidelines for Engineering Assessments (Seismic Assessment Guidelines). These guidelines are published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and must be used when carrying out seismic assessments under the earthquake-prone building system.  

However, engineers know seismic assessments and ratings are used for many purposes outside of the earthquake-prone building system. For example, for marketing or insurance purposes. For any of these purposes an engineer may choose to use the non-EPB Seismic Assessment Guidelines. These guidelines are voluntary guidelines published by the industry.   

Currently the only difference between the Red Book and the non-EPB Seismic Assessment Guidelines is an update to Section C5 (Concrete) released in 2018 (informally known as the Yellow Chapter).

Proposed changes

The proposed changes incorporate the latest engineering knowledge about how concrete buildings are likely to perform in an earthquake. They are expected to improve the clarity and accuracy of assessments and, on balance, in many cases are expected to improve the %NBS scores of certain elements. 

Once feedback is considered and published, the updated non-EPB Seismic Assessment Guidelines will supersede the 2018 Yellow Chapter and engineers will be able to use them when providing advice outside of earthquake-prone building system requirements.

The consultation

Engineering New Zealand is now collecting feedback on the proposed changes on behalf of the Joint Committee. Once feedback has been considered, by the Joint Committee the updated non-EPB Seismic Assessment Guidelines will be published on the industry best practice website Design.Resilience.NZ  

The consultation is open until 15 August 2024 and engineers are encouraged to provide their feedback. You can find the consultation documents and feedback form via Engineering New Zealand's website.

Proposed non-EPB seismic assessment guidelines - engineeringnz.org

Earthquake-prone building review

The consultation on non-EPB Seismic Assessment Guidelines is not related to the earthquake-prone building system review that MBIE is currently undertaking.

More information on the earthquake-prone building and seismic risk management review - mbie.govt.nz

For any queries on the review, you can contact building@mbie.govt.nz

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This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: