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The methodology to identify earthquake-prone buildings

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About this document

  • Published on 3 July 2017
  • Of interest to Building owners, Regional authorities, Building consent authorities, Territorial Authority, Building users, Designers, Engineers, Architects
  • ISBN: ISBN 978-1-98-851789-6 (Print) / ISBN 978-1-98-851790-2 (Online)


The EPB methodology is the document used by territorial authorities and engineers to identify, assess, and make decisions on potentially earthquake-prone buildings.


The methodology is set by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment under the Building Act.

It refers to The Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings: Technical Guidelines for Engineering Assessments (the Engineering Assessment Guidelines) on the EQ-Assess website.

The EPB methodology has three sections:

  • Section 1: Territorial authorities identify potentially earthquake-prone buildings. This includes profile categories of potentially earthquake-prone building, category details, and exclusions.
  • Section 2: Engineers carry out assessments of potentially earthquake-prone buildings. This includes the engineering qualifications required, deciding what type of assessment is required, and the format of reports.
  • Section 3: Territorial authorities decide on earthquake-prone buildings. This includes the criteria for accepting new or previous engineering assessments, how to decide if a building or part of building is earthquake prone and how to determine the earthquake rating for the building.

Managing earthquake-prone buildings has further information.

All guidance documents related to B1 Structure

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: