Consultation opens on new earthquake-prone buildings framework

MBIE has opened public consultation on the new earthquake-prone building (EPB) regulations and methodology. This is to inform the Building (Earthquake-Prone Buildings) Amendment Act, which will come into effect in 2017.

Consultation will run until 15 December 2016. Submissions have been requested on both the proposed EPB methodology, and regulations relating to:

  • The definition of a building’s ‘ultimate capacity’;
  • The level of building work that will trigger seismic strengthening requirements;
  • Exemptions;
  • An earthquake rating system to provide a measure of a building’s expected performance during an earthquake; and
  • The appearance of public notices describing a building’s level of seismic risk.

In terms of the methodology, this is intended to set out how EPBs are to be identified, assessed, and assigned ratings. For example: identification may involve specifying ‘profile categories’ for potentially earthquake prone buildings – such as seismic area, and building characteristics – while also introducing the flexibility for territorial authorities to identify buildings as earthquake prone at any time independently of that process. MBIE is seeking feedback on the overall approach – for example, whether identification should be tied to readily identifiable building characteristics – as well as what those characteristics should be (age/era of construction, type of building, height, etcetera), how this would work in practice, and its impact.

Information about how to submit on either the methodology or the regulations, and detailed discussion documents relating to both,  can be found here.

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