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Assessment and Improvement of the Structural Performance of Buildings in Earthquake

This document is in the process of being superseded by a new document “The Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings”, which will provide a technical basis for engineers to carry out seismic assessments of existing buildings within New Zealand. The draft document and supporting information are available at www.EQ-Assess.org.nz. A final version will be issued to coincide with the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act coming into force in 2017.

Engineers are encouraged to use the new document. However, the documents provided below can continue to be used until the final version of the new Guidelines are published. This page will remain here for future reference once its contents are superseded.

The recently updated version of the June 2006 document, incorporating Corrigenda 1, 2, and 3 is now available as a pdf down load from here.

The Corrigenda are also available as separate documents:
Corrigenda 1 (4 August 2008) is available as a pdf download from here.
Corrigenda 2 (15 June 2012) is available as a pdf download from here.
Corrigenda 3 (14 October 2014) is available as a pdf download from here.
Corrigenda 4 (9 April 2015) is available as a pdf download from here.

The 2006 document marked a milestone in the understanding and practical assessment of older buildings and their likely behaviour when subjected to earthquake effects. Corrigenda 1 and 2 correct typographical errors and provided minor technical changes. Lessons learnt from the Canterbury Earthquake sequence, the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission recommendations and current research will be incorporated into a new version of the AISPBE document over the next year or two. Currently the Building & Housing Group within the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) are preparing updated guidance documentation for assessing existing buildings and design of new structures. In due course the NZSEE document will be updated to cover a wide range of structural forms and materials, and include further research from New Zealand and overseas. The experience from Christchurch has provided a vital source of performance based data that will help to validate and enhance the AISPBE recommendations.

Section 3 has been extensively revised to include more explanatory material to assist assessors to complete an Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA).  The changes to this section are intended to improve understanding and consistency in the application of the procedures.  However, if previous assessments using the IEP procedure have been completed with the required level of judgment, the changes are not expected to lead to a change in the scores.

Changes and developments include:

  • Change in title and focus of the section to reflect that the IEP is only a tool and not an ISA in itself.
  • Presentation of template covering letters putting the IEP in context and outlining the limitations of an ISA.
  • Significant additional explanatory material to inform on the judgments necessary to complete an ISA.
  • Changes to the IEP to allow changes in building use to be calculated rather than relying on adjustments to the F factor.
  • Changes to the pounding penalties to reflect the recommendations in the guidelines.  These were available previously via the F factor.
  • Download the September 2015 version of the IEP spreadsheet HERE.

The revised version of “Section 3” published 9 September 2014 can be downloaded from HERE. This review of Section 3 is supported by MBIE and EQC, with input from SESOC and NZGS.

Revised Section 10 (URM structures) and new Section 14 (Geotechincal consideration) was published on 9 April 2015 as corrigenda  4, as part of the review supported by MBIE and EQC, with input from NZGS. These sections incorporate much new material and are available for download HERE.

Template covering letters putting the IEP in context can be downloaded from (Appendix) 3D3E3F

Also the document “Guidance for Territorial Authorities and Property Owners on Initial Seismic Assessment” can be downloaded from HERE

Any questions and/or esquires may be directed to the NZSEE Executive Officer, Win Clark at exec@nzsee.org.nz.