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Building Safety Evaluation in a State of Emergency: Guidelines for Territorial Authorities

The page remains for historical context only. The latest guidance document is that published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The Rapid post disaster building usability assessment field manual can be found at be found at the MBIE’s Building Performance Website.


Important note:

Best practices for building safety evaluation evolve as lessons are learned from analysis of earthquake events. Following the initial publication of this document, there have been some changes in best practice as a result of the experience from the earthquakes in Padang (Indonesia), La Aquilla (Italy) and Darfield (Canterbury).

These have led to changes to procedures which were used following the Darfield earthquake. That experience led to further changes being applied to building safety evaluation in the response to the Christchurch earthquake, 22 February, 2011.

These changes have yet to be incorporated into this document.

The NZSEE Building Safety Evaluation Guidelines (1.1 MB, PDF) provide guidance for Territorial Authority Building Control Managers to prepare for, implement and manage building structural safety evaluation activities after major earthquakes or other disaster events, and for engineers and others assisting with the process in the field. The document was produced with support from the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) and the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM).

This August 2009 edition addresses comments on the December 2008 draft version that were reviewed by the Department of Building and Housing Reference Group, which includes representatives from several territorial authorities.

The Word format Appendices to the Guidelines (320 KB, DOC) contain forms and placards for territorial authorities to use by inserting their own contact details and attaching to their own response procedures.

Please address enquiries about the Guidelines to the Society’s Executive Officer.

If the NZSEE Building Safety Evaluation Guidelines link is inaccessible, please try the following backup locations: DBH Backup Guidelines and Appendices; or MCDEM Backup Guidelines and Appendices.