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Assessing potentially earthquake-prone buildings

Last updated: 15 August 2017

When a territorial authority (local council) identifies a building as potentially earthquake prone, the building owner is required to provide an engineering assessment for their building within 12 months from the date they are notified.

The building owner can apply for one extension of up to 12 months in certain circumstances.

Engineers need to make sure they undertake assessments in accordance with the EPB methodology. The methodology sets out:

  • the qualification requirements for engineers
  • how to determine the appropriate type of assessment
  • the technical requirements for the assessment
  • the reporting requirements.

Territorial authorities need to make sure they adequately inform the building owner of their responsibility to provide an engineering assessment that meets the criteria set out in the EPB methodology.

Building owners need to make sure they commission an engineer who knows the requirements of the EPB methodology and has the qualification requirements set out in the EPB methodology.

Assessing parts of buildings

The Building Act refers to a building and a part of a building. This means that engineers assessing potentially earthquake-prone buildings need to consider parts of buildings as well as the overall performance of the whole building.

The methodology to identify earthquake-prone buildings describes how parts of buildings should be considered in engineering assessments of potentially earthquake-prone buildings.

The Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings on the EQ Assess website sets out the technical methods for engineers undertaking assessments of potentially earthquake-prone buildings.

Building professionals and earthquake-prone buildings has further information.

Earthquake-prone building resources has an information sheet ‘Assessing earthquake-prone buildings’.

Online learning: Assessing earthquake-prone buildings

Learn more by taking the online course about assessing potentially earthquake-prone buildings.

Go to the online learning site

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: