01 July 2017

Media release: Engineers welcome new framework for managing earthquake-prone buildings

Engineers say new legislation marks a step forward in improving New Zealand’s building stock.

Structural Engineering Society (SESOC) spokesperson Paul Campbell says 1 July was a positive day for engineers and for Councils. 

“It’s about having a better framework and tools for assessing buildings, which will help improve our building stock and increase our seismic resilience. It also means a more consistent approach to the management of earthquake-prone buildings.

“The new legislation will encourage discussion between owners and engineers on how owners can proactively manage and improve buildings.”

New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) President Peter Smith says the new engineering guidelines create a more systematic approach to seismic assessment.

“They provide clearer definitions and more detailed guidance on ratings, which will make assessments more consistent."

IPENZ Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene says building owners looking for an engineer to carry out a seismic assessment should make sure the engineer has received training on the new guidelines.

“Building owners should use Chartered Professional Engineers when commissioning seismic assessments.”

“We recommend that building owners also ask engineers about their experience of that specific type of building and whether they are members of SESOC, NZSEE or NZGS.”

Read the new guidelines


The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) is New Zealand's professional body for engineers, with more than 18,000 members. We represent – and regulate – IPENZ Members, and we also act as the Registration Authority for Chartered Professional Engineers.

SESOC, NZSEE and NZGS are IPENZ technical groups.

Contact: Bridgit Sissons 021 882 004