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Rapid building assessment resources

Last updated: 18 December 2019

Cover of the Rapid Post Disaster Building Usability Assessment – Earthquake document

The following field guides, building assessment forms and placards are designed to assist authorised civil defence emergency management officials and engineers to effectively carry out rapid building assessments following an emergency event such as a major earthquake or flood.

MBIE has updated the documents on this page to reflect the recommendations of the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission (CERA) and the new system provided by the Building Amendment Act 2019 for managing buildings during an emergency.

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Field guides

After an emergency event, authorised civil defence emergency management officials and engineers should carry out rapid building assessments in accordance with the relevant field guide:

Assessment forms

The following forms are used by authorised civil defence emergency management officials and engineers to complete rapid building assessments following an emergency event such as a major earthquake or flood. Assessors can adapt the forms as needed to carry out assessments following other kinds of emergency events.

Earthquake rapid assessment forms:

Flooding rapid assessment forms:

Geotechnical rapid assessment form:

Rapid assessment sketch sheet:

Access placards

The following placards are used by authorised civil defence emergency management officials and engineers, following a rapid building assessment, to show how damaged a building is and whether there are any restrictions to occupancy. Only authorised officials can place, change or remove these placards.

Download and print:

Detailed assessments

In a state of emergency or transition period, or when an affected area has been designated under the Building Act for building emergency management, civil defence emergency management / territorial authority officials can direct the owner of a building, or owners of buildings of a particular type, to obtain a detailed assessment of the building. These assessments are the responsibility of a building owner.

Information about the assessment process can be found in MBIE’s Guidance for decision-makers and territorial authorities on managing buildings in an emergency.

The Civil Defence website also has further information about requiring a structural assessment.

Guidance is also available on the different types of detailed assessments:

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: