Auckland Council’s regional strategy & policy committee agreed yesterday to suspend its policy requiring assessments on all pre-1976 commercial & large residential structures to be completed this year, unless they’re built with unreinforced brick masonry.
The requirement arose following Christchurch’s earthquakes in 2010-11, but this year the Government decided to relax its requirements.
Parliament’s local government & environment committee is seeking feedback by Thursday 16 July on an interim report it issued a week ago on the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill, which will alter the timeframes for the identification & remediation of earthquake-prone buildings from a blanket period for the whole country so it’s based on the seismic risk of the area.
In May, the assessment period for earthquake strengthening was stretched for more than half the country and the timeframe for work having to be done in Auckland was pushed out to 35 years.
Auckland has now been given 15 years to assess a building’s earthquake risk, the main concern being facades, awnings & unreinforced brick masonry. The council has carried out 7500 assessments and nearly 1000 buildings have been identified as earthquake-prone.
The council committee agreed to suspend the assessment provision in its policy and the provision granting building owners 3 months to provide feedback before provisional assessments are finalised, and said the council wouldn’t finalise any assessments with a rating over 33% of the new building standard unless they were built with unreinforced brick masonry.
Council staff have been authorised to continue working with Local Government NZ on wider issues of the proposed legislative change, and the committee support their involvement in the regulation redevelopment task group.
25 June 2015: Select committee seeks feedback on quake-prone buildings bill changes
10 May 2015: Government eases quake strengthening targets
Attribution: Council agenda & release, Parliament.