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Building Consents & Information
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The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 (the Act) came into force on 1 July 2017 and contains major changes to the current system of identifying and remediating earthquake-prone buildings under the Building Act 2004 including a new national system for building identification and assessment and a publicly available national register of buildings that are earthquake-prone.

MBIE have set the minimum strengthening of commercial buildings at 34% of New Building Standards (NBS) and have defined the following as being most at risk buildings.

  • Unreinforced masonry buildings  (URM)
  • Pre 1976 buildings  - three or more stories
  • Pre 1935 buildings - one or two stories (excludes timber framed buildings)
  • Priority Buildings

The Central Hawke’s Bay district is in a high seismic zone (High Risk Z Factor > 0.3).  Council is required to identify earthquake prone ‘priority’ buildings within 2.5 years, and within five years for all other earthquake prone buildings, commencing 01 July 2017. (s. 133AG (4) (c) of the Act)

Territorial authorities must undertake a review of commercial buildings or any other buildings of relevant significance to identify any for which a report has yet to be provided and will notify these building owners that an ISA (Initial Seismic Assessment) or DSA (Detailed Seismic Assessment) is required within one year of the review date.  This report must identify the parts of the building affected and the owner and Councils must then come to an agreement on the strengthening or removal over an agreed time frame.  All earthquake prone building strengthening building work must be undertaken with a building consent.

If no report is provided, then an EPB notice under s.133AL of the Building Amendment Act 2016 will be issued, with a copy fixed to the front of the premises in a prominent area, to notify the public that the building is classified as potentially earthquake prone.  A copy of this notice must also be issued to interested parties.  

For any buildings where the report identifies a rating of less than 34% NBS Councils must issue an Earthquake-prone Building Notice (EPB) and a copy of this notice must also be displayed on the front of the premises.  

The time frame in high risk areas for completing seismic work on these buildings is 7.5 years for a ‘priority’ building, and 15 years for any other building  (s.133AM of the Act).

Buildings identified as Earthquake Prone will also have to be entered into the national MBIE register which will be available to the public on line.

Please refer to the following MBIE website for more information at:

https://www.building.govt.nz/building-code-compliance/b-stability/b1-structure/methodology-identify-earthquake-prone-buildings/

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