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Securing parapets and facades on unreinforced masonry buildings

All content related to B1 Structure

About this document

  • Published on 28 February 2017
  • Updated on 10 October 2017
  • Of interest to Hurunui District Council, Council heritage advisors, Marlborough District Council, Building owners, Hutt City Council, Licensed building practitioners, Wellington City Council, Architects, Chartered professional engineers
  • ISBN: ISBN 978-1-98-851724-7 (Print) / ISBN 978-1-98-851725-4 (Online)
  • Version 2


The guidance provides advice for building owners, councils and engineers who are required to secure the street-facing parapets and facades of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings within 12 months.


On 28 February the government introduced a new requirement for owners of certain unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings to secure street-facing parapets and facades, in response to the 2016 Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquakes.

The requirement applies to street-facing URM buildings, with unsecured or unstrengthened parapets and facades, on listed streets in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Marlborough and Hurunui.

There is currently an increased risk of earthquakes in these areas, following the Hurunui/Kaikoura earthquakes on 14 November 2016, and this increases the risk that unsecured URM parapets and/or facades could fall and threaten people’s safety.

Owners of URM buildings in those areas will be notified by the council if they are required to secure the street-facing parapets and facades on their buildings within 12 months of the date of the notice. The parapets and facades must be secured within this time frame to reduce the risk of falling masonry.

In recognition of the public and private benefits of securing URM parapets and facades, the government and affected councils have established a $4.5 million Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund to support building owners required to do this work.

The guidance includes:

  • a section outlining the provisions of the Order in Council, including the modifications to the Building Act and Resource Management Act
  • advice for building owners who get a notice requiring them to secure the parapet and/or façade of their street-facing URM building within 12 months
  • advice for affected councils who will be issuing notices under section 124 of the Building Act, as modified by the Order in Council
  • advice for chartered professional engineers who will be designing solutions to secure parapets and/or facades.

For more information, see Securing unreinforced masonry building parapets and facades.

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: