The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s work to identify potentially earthquake prone buildings in the District is now complete. The owners of 28 potentially earthquake-prone buildings have been notified and advised that they will need to obtain a seismic assessment of their building for Council to consider.
Council Group Manager Regulatory Services Natasha Tod says councils have responsibilities under the Building Act 2018 to identify potentially earthquake-prone buildings in their district.
“We’ve just finished this first stage of building profiling using MBIE’s prescribed earthquake-prone building methodology. This effectively identifies buildings or parts of buildings that might be of concern and need further assessment.”
Ms Tod says that the Kāpiti Coast is an area of high seismic risk with deep soft soils which can pose challenges for buildings built here.
“Engineering understanding has developed over time and design codes have changed as a response. Buildings built to previous engineering design codes will generally not be as seismically robust as a new building. The owners of the recently identified potentially earthquake-prone buildings have been notified and have 12 months to obtain a seismic assessment of their building for Council to consider. An extension for a further 12 months can be sought.”
“The Council then decides if the building is earthquake-prone and issues a notice which must be displayed on the building if it is. But, even though a building is identified as being potentially earthquake-prone doesn’t mean it is earthquake-prone, which is why further seismic assessment is required to determine this with certainty,” Ms Tod said.
The strength of old buildings are expressed as a percentage of new building strength (%NBS) and where this falls below 34%, the building is classified earthquake-prone.
The Council’s earthquake-prone building project is entering the next phase of deciding if buildings previously identified as potentially earthquake-prone are earthquake-prone and issuing notices requiring upgrading of the building. To date, five notices have been issued. When an earthquake-prone building notice is issued, the building is added to the public register administered by MBIE at https://www.building.govt.nz/managing-buildings/managing-earthquake-prone-buildings/epb-register/