Rapid post disaster building usability assessment – earthquake

About this document

  • Published on 1 May 2014
  • Updated on 8 November 2018
  • Of interest to Territorial Authority,
  • ISBN: 978-0-478-41794-4 (Print) / 978-0-478-41797-5 (Online)
  • 1st edition


The objective of the rapid building assessment is to quickly establish the usability of buildings and associated infrastructure where functions may be compromised by a hazard event. Hazard events include earthquake, flood, landslide, rock-fall, volcanic eruption, storm surge, tsunami, explosion, or other event with life safety, residential or business consequences.


The scope of these guidelines covers the rapid assessment of buildings to be carried out during a State of Emergency declared under the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002.

The focus of this document is from when the initial impact assessment is completed until the emergency declaration is lifted.

The focus of the rapid building assessment process is on immediate public safety, not the provision of an engineering assessment service to building owners. Quantified assessment of building damage is necessary to determine reconstruction programmes and resource requirements for repair, and to assess how long recovery may take. Such detailed assessment is outside the scope of this document.

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: