Council commences building earthquake safety assessment
Kāpiti Coast District Council is taking the first step in its programme to assess the earthquake safety of about 1500 buildings in the district.
Council plans to assess all commercial, industrial and school buildings over the next five years. Residential buildings that are two storeys or higher and contain more than three separate dwellings will also be included.
Regulatory Services Group Manager, Kevin Currie says the earthquake-prone building assessment work is a major initiative included in council’s long term plan ‘FutureKāpiti’.
“We want to ensure the safety of our community by having buildings that are safe to be in and about. Since the Canterbury earthquakes, the New Zealand public’s awareness of building safety has greatly increased and this is an important piece of work we must carry out”, he says.
“We’re undertaking this work according to council’s own policy and to give effect to proposed law changes that are currently before Parliament.
“Currently, we’re requesting proposals from interested and suitably qualified engineers using the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS).”
Mr Currie says once council has engaged technical specialists, it can start assessing buildings in the Kāpiti Coast district.
“We plan to start assessments at the beginning of next year, completing them by 2020. Buildings that are important to the community after emergencies and natural disasters, such as those used by ambulance and fire services, and schools, will be our first priority.
“Before we start the process, we need to confirm which buildings these priority buildings are. We expect the legislation will require us to do this through a special consultative process. We’ll also be liaising with the owners of all buildings needing to be assessed.”
Mr Currie says council will use a best-practice assessment process developed by the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineers to identify earthquake-prone buildings.
“This process, which will be done progressively over a period of five years, will use a combination of information we have on file, obtaining more information from property owners if we need to, and using professional engineers.”
Mr Currie says once the initial stage of identifying earthquake-prone buildings is completed and before a final list is compiled, owners will have the opportunity to provide any additional information to council about their building.
“The legislation will set the minimum standard and timeframes within which property owners have to ensure their buildings are earthquake safe”, he says.
View Kāpiti Coast District Council’s request for proposals on GETS.
View council’s Earthquake Prone Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings policy.
Council’s long term plan, ‘FutureKāpiti – Long term plan 2015-35’, provides the direction and mandate for all of council’s activities and services, initiatives and projects.