Managing Earthquake Prone Buildings
Council's previous earthquake prone building policy has now been replaced by the Building (Earthquake-prone Building) Amendment Act 2016 which came into effect 1 July 2017. It is a nationally consistent system for managing earthquake-prone buildings and changes the way they are identified, assessed and managed.
This video by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) gives you an introduction to the national system for managing earthquake-prone buildings: why we have it and how it works.
Council will be contacting building owners whose buildings were previously identified as potentially or earthquake prone in accordance with time frames set out in the Building Act.
The act applies to commercial buildings and some residential buildings.
Residential buildings are only covered under the act if they:
- comprise two or more storeys and three or more household units,
- or are used as hostels, boarding houses or other types of specialised accommodation.
- farm buildings
- stand-alone retaining walls
- statues and other monuments that cannot be entered
- storage tanks.
Earthquake Strengthen your Home
Previous earthquake-prone building assessments
If you own a building that has been assessed as earthquake-prone under our initial evaluation programme, you can either:
New earthquake-prone building assessments
If you choose to undertake a new assessment using the MBIE methodology, the result of the assessment will supersede any existing seismic assessment rating.
You will have 12 months from the date you receive written notification from us to carry out a new assessment and you will need to cover the cost of the new assessment.
Application for an extension to provide an earthquake-prone building assessment
An extension of up to 12 months may be available if you are unable to provide an engineering assessment by the due date.
You must apply for an extension at least two months before the initial due date. Other criteria also apply. Go to the Building (Earthquake-prone Building) Amendment Act 2016 for more information.
Apply for an extension to provide an earthquake-prone building assessment using this form. The form must be posted to Council.
If your building has an existing earthquake-prone evaluation or is rated as earthquake-prone under the new assessment, you will:
- be issued with a statutory Earthquake-Prone Building (EPB) notice, which you must display in a prominent place in your building
- have the details of your building added to the national register of earthquake-prone buildings
- have 25 years from the date of the EPB notice to strengthen your building so that it is no longer earthquake-prone, or if you carry out a substantial alteration or change of use, have to strengthen your building at the same time.
Alterations to potentially Earthquake-prone buildings
Earthquake-prone buildings and multiple unit titles
If a building with multiple unit titles is deemed earthquake-prone, the owner of each title will be issued with a separate earthquake-prone building notice.
Extension to complete strengthening for heritage buildings
You can apply for a 10-year extension to complete strengthening works for an earthquake-prone building that is:
- a Category 1 listed building, or
- on the National Historic Landmarks list.
Exemption from strengthening for isolated buildings
You can apply for an exemption from strengthening works for an earthquake-prone building that is:
- used infrequently
- or poses a low risk of injury to people and damage to other property in the event of an earthquake.
See section 10 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005 for more information and qualifying criteria
Identified current earthquake prone buildings
The EPB Register provides information about buildings that territorial authorities (TAs) have determined to be earthquake prone. These decisions will be made progressively in the timeframes defined in the Building Act 2004. Information about these buildings will be available online once an EPB notice has been issued and the TA has recorded this information in the register.
Responsibilty of an owner of an earthquake prone building
Rotorua Lakes Council issues an earthquake prone
building notice directly to a recognised building owner and this notice
includes a letter instructing the building owner to attach this notice in a
prominent place on the building (See NZ Building Act 2004 Section 133AP for further information).