New ways to manage earthquake-prone buildings
The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 came into force on 1 July 2017 and it changes the way we identify earthquake-prone buildings. The new system provides nationwide consistency for:
- managing buildings for future earthquakes,
- providing information for people using buildings, such as notices on earthquake-prone buildings and a public register.
Find out more about the changes online.
Identifying ‘priority’ earthquake-prone buildings
Under the new system, ‘priority buildings’ are earthquake-prone buildings that pose a high risk to life safety, or are critical to recovery in an emergency.
Once they’re identified, priority buildings need to be strengthened in half the time allowed for other earthquake-prone buildings, in order to promptly reduce the risks.
We need to identify our District’s prioritybuildings within two-and-a-half years, and building owners must strengthen or demolish thesebuildings within seven-and-a-half years of receiving an earthquake-prone notice. It’s likely that hospital, emergency, and education buildings that are earthquake-prone will be priority buildings. Other buildings might also be priority buildings based on their location, and the risk they pose to people in an earthquake.
Find out more about priority buildings online.
We’re keen to get your thoughts
The first step to identifying our District’s priority buildings is to figure out the streets, walkways and thoroughfares that people use often, where there are buildings that have un-reinforced masonry (URM) buildings that could fall on people in an earthquake. You know this community, so we’re keen to get your help to identify these areas.
Your views on acceptable levels of risk will help us decide which thoroughfares to prioritise.
This consultation is in accordance with section 133AF(2)(a) of the Building Act 2004, which requires the Kāpiti Coast District Council to use the special consultative procedure in section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002 to identify these priority buildings.
How to have your say
There are a few ways you let us know your thoughts. You can make a submission:
Download our printable submission form here
Please mark your submission ‘Prioritising vehicular and pedestrian thoroughfares'.
Submissions open Tuesday 14 November and close 5pm, Wednesday 13 December 2017
High-use streets and walkways that should be prioritised
The Kāpiti Coast District Council had already assessed a large number of the District’s buildings by 1 July 2017 when the new legislation came into effect. Older areas of our District including Ōtaki and Paekākāriki had already been assessed and very few un-reinforced masonry buildings have been identified. Building standards since 1935 have required reinforcement of masonry buildings and it’s expected that URM buildings will be pre-1935 designs. Areas developed more recently, like Paraparaumu, are unlikely to have URM buildings. This consultation will help us identify priority thoroughfares where any URM buildings might need to be strengthened or demolished within the shorter timeframe of seven-and-a-half years. Given the low numbers of URM buildings, we’ve already considered the thoroughfares around known URM buildings.
Potential for part of an unreinforced masonry building to fall onto the identified thoroughfare.
We’d like to know your thoughts on whether the following roads, footpaths and other thoroughfares are used enough to be prioritised. We’d also like to know if you think there are any other thoroughfares that should be included. Based on high use and the potential for an unreinforced masonry building to fall, we propose that the following thoroughfares are prioritised:
Note: An unreinforced masonry (URM) building has masonry walls that don’t contain steel, timber or fibre reinforcement. URM buildings are older buildings that often have parapets, as well as verandas, balconies, decorative ornaments, chimneys and signs attached to their facades (front walls that face onto a street or open space).
What happens next?
Once priority thoroughfares have been finalised, we’ll use the earthquake-prone building (EPB) methodology* to assess the buildings on those thoroughfares to decide if they should be priority buildings. Once we have a decision we’ll let affected building owners know in writing. Owners of potentially earthquake-prone buildings (whether it’s a priority building or not), have 12 months to provide an engineering assessment so we can use it to determine whether the building is earthquake-prone, and notify the building owner of remediation requirements.
*The EPB methodology is a regulatory tool that sets out the types of buildings that Kāpiti Coast District Council must identify as potentially earthquake-prone.