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Information for Building Occupiers or Tenants

1. How will I know if a building I live or work in on the Kāpiti Coast is being assessed or has been assessed as potentially earthquake-prone?

2. Does the earthquake-prone building assessment work include residential buildings?

3. What happens if the building I live or work in is determined to be earthquake-prone?

4. Should I continue to occupy my building if it has been assessed as earthquake-prone?

5. Can I ask my landlord to have the building I live or work in assessed?

6. Can I make remedial changes to the building I live or work in to make it safer?

7. How can I find out more information about the earthquake-prone building work process?

 

1.  How will I know if a building I live or work in on the Kāpiti Coast is being assessed or has been assessed as potentially earthquake-prone?

Information regarding the earthquake-prone status of a building is public information and is available from Council on request.

If you have any questions, please call us on 0800 486 486 or email: EQPBuildings@kapiticoast.govt.nz

When buildings are issued with Earthquake- Prone Buildings notices, information can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s public Earthquake-prone Buildings Register. You can access this register here. from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

2. Does the earthquake-prone building assessment work include residential buildings?

The Building Act 2004 requires us to profile all commercial, industrial and school buildings – and residential buildings that are two or more storeys high and contain three or more household units (such as apartment building or boarding houses).

Buildings that will not be profiled include single storey residential buildings and two (or more) storey residential buildings that contain only one or two household units.

The following buildings are excluded from the profile categories:

i)    A building that is constructed primarily of timber framing without other construction materials providing lateral support;

ii)    A building strengthened to at least 34%NBS (or the equivalent of this) so that the building cannot be considered earthquake prone;

iii)    A building that a territorial authority has previously notified the owner in writing is not earthquake prone prior to commencement;

iv)    A building that the territorial authority has found to be earthquake prone and for which it has issued a notice under section 124 of the Building Act prior to commencement (and is therefore subject to Schedule 1AA of the Building Act);

v)     A building for which the territorial authority has a previous assessment that has a %NBS reported for the building greater than 34%NBS and that meets the criteria set out in section 3.3 of this methodology; and

vi)     Buildings for which a territorial authority obtains information or a special study that shows a particular subset of buildings is not earthquake prone due to particular circumstances or special local characteristics, where there is a robust technical basis for this information or study.

3. What happens if the building I live or work in is determined to be earthquake-prone?

Once Council has determined a building is earthquake prone, we will write and notify the building owner of its earthquake status and rating. We will provide the building owner, building occupier and any persons or organisations that have an interest in the building with a copy of the earthquake prone building notice.  We are also required to fix a copy of the notice to the building in a prominent place. 

4. Should I continue to occupy my building if it has been assessed as earthquake-prone?

The Building Act 2004 allows unrestricted use of buildings profiled as earthquake prone (there are some exceptions in the Canterbury area).   However, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) places responsibility on building owners and business managers to take all practicable steps to eliminate isolate or minimise hazards in the context of current knowledge. Dealing with earthquake-related hazards: Information for employers and owners of workplace buildings - Position Statement | Worksafe

It is important to understand that if a building is not profiled as earthquake-prone, it does not mean it won’t be damaged in an earthquake.  It can be expected that after a strong earthquake, buildings that have kept the occupants safe from injury can still need extensive repair before being reoccupied and may even have to be demolished.

Public safety is the first concern in an emergency situation, with buildings and contents of secondary concern.  The earthquake-prone provisions of the Building Act 2004 focus on the prevention of personal injury and the protection of other properties.

5. Can I ask my landlord to have the building I live or work in assessed?

If you want to have an Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA) or Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA) of the building you live or work in carried out, you can ask your landlord to arrange for this assessment to be carried out.  However they are under no obligation to have this done.

6. Can I make remedial changes to the building I live or work in to make it safer?

If you wish to carry out strengthening work on the building you live or work in, you will require your landlord’s permission to do so. A building consent may also be required from Council for this work to be completed. It is up to you and your landlord to determine who pays for the cost of the remedial work.

Council and the Earthquake Commission provide guidance on simple steps you can take to secure furniture, fittings and your hot water cylinder.  Before you make any changes to your building, please check the terms of your tenancy agreement to see if you need your landlord's permission.

Easy Ways to Quake Safe Your Home - Earthquake Commission

Quakecheck your house – Kāpiti Coast District Council

7.  How can I find out more information about the earthquake-prone building work process?

- The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has established a public Earthquake-prone Buildings Register. You can access this register here.

- You can call us on 0800 486 486, or email: EQPBuildings@kapiticoast.govt.nz

- You can also sign up to our quarterly E- Newsletter. Just email: EQPBuildings@kapiticoast.govt.nz to sign up. 

 

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