Rapid building assessment resources

Last updated: 1 May 2024

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

The following field guides, rapid building assessment forms and placards are designed to assist authorised Rapid Building Assessors 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.

Field guides

After an emergency event, authorised Rapid Building Assessors and engineers should carry out rapid building assessments in accordance with the relevant field guide:

The field guides are currently being revised to include up to date information, including the new assessment forms and placards.

Rapid building assessment forms

The following forms are used by authorised Rapid Building Assessors and engineers to complete rapid building assessments following an emergency event such as a major earthquake or flood. As part of MBIE's continuous improvement programme, the current rapid building assessment forms and placards have been revised. The assessment forms have been reduced from three separate forms to two. All changes are in line with the current provisions of the Building Act and there is no legal implication for the changes made.

The new assessment forms and placards were approved by the General Manager of Building System Performance (under his delegated authority from the Chief Executive of MBIE) on 1 November 2023. The new forms and placards can be used in advance of that date.

Territorial authorities and Rapid Building Assessors must use the approved forms and placards when preparing rapid building assessments.


Building rapid assessment form (all event types) [PDF 349KB]

Geotechnical rapid building assessment form [PDF 373KB]

Digital versions of the rapid building assessment and geotechnical forms are available for territorial authorities to download onto an Arc GIS platform (eg Survey 123). More information on the Arc GIS platform, including instructions - arcgis.com

Rapid building assessment placards

The following placards are used by authorised Rapid Building Assessors, 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:

MBIE has produced a quick guide detailing the changes to the placards and rapid building assessment forms, including implementation information for territorial authorities.

Download the rapid building assessment placards and forms quick guide [PDF 1.2MB]

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: