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Consider your options to secure URM parapets and facades

Last updated: 30 March 2017

You must secure the parapet and/or facade of your unreinforced masonry (URM) building within 12 months.

Your options include using a permanent solution, using a temporary solution or strengthening the whole building.

Do the work and apply for funding support has more information.

You need to think about:

  • the potential impact on tenants in the building
  • the resources you can commit to the project in the next 12 months.

Permanent solutions use structural connections to secure the parapet and/or facade. Temporary solutions may involve clamping, strapping or bolting the parapet and/or facade back into the building.

Have a look at the table below and ask your building professional for more information.

Temporary solutions Permanent solutions
Quick to put in place Require more consideration (i.e. careful design) and work can take longer
The initial costs can be cheaper than most permanent solutions, but not as durable Likely to cost more in the short term but will last longer and are likely to be a better solution in the long term
Enable you to improve public safety and protect heritage features until you can strengthen the building Enable you to improve public safety and protect heritage features in the long term
Can be visually intrusive Good practice permanent solutions are not visually intrusive
Can limit use of spaces in buildings, ie where temporary tie rods or straps pass through habitable rooms Good practice permanent solutions can be designed to limit effects on habitable rooms
Not a substitute for overall strengthening – in most cases permanent strengthening work will be required in the future Can be the first stage of overall strengthening work

Strengthening the whole building will cost more and take longer. However, you can apply for funding support for the parapet and/or façade and treat the work as the first stage of strengthening.

Funding support

The Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund has been set up to support building owners who are required to secure the parapets and/or facades of their URM building within 12 months.
The fund will contribute approximately half the costs of the actual work involved in securing the URM parapet and/or facade up to a maximum of $25,000.

Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund has further information about the fund.

Important things to remember

  • You won’t get funding support until the council confirms that you have done the work required under the section 124 notice.
  • You must keep good records of the work (see page 19 of the guidance below).
  • Additional work to strengthen the building, ie work over and above securing the parapet and/or facade, won’t be eligible for funding support.
  • There will be other additional work that is not covered by the fund. Check pages 16 and 17 of the guidance below.

Securing parapets and facades on unreinforced masonry buildings contains technical guidance developed by MBIE that provides support to building owners, engineers, and councils.

Heritage buildings

If you have a heritage building the securing work should have regard to the heritage values of the building or the area in which the building is located, to the extent that is reasonably practicable in the circumstances. If you decide to strengthen as well as secure you may be eligible for additional funding support for the strengthening work.

To find out if your building is entered on the New Zealand Heritage list contact Heritage New Zealand

It is advisable to engage a chartered professional engineer experienced in work on heritage buildings. Get advice from your council heritage advisor and the Heritage EQUIP website.

Funds that support work on heritage buildings are:

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: