The Christchurch City Council is proposing to make amendments to its 2006 Earthquake-prone, Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings policy. Earthquake-prone buildings do not include residential buildings unless they are multi-storey and include three or more residences.
While amendments are suggested to various parts of the earthquake-prone buildings part of the policy, there will be no change in the Council’s approach to dangerous or insanitary buildings in its district.
The chairperson of the Regulatory and Planning Committee, Cr Sue Wells says that in making these amendments the Council had considered four studies which identified 7600 potentially earthquake-prone buildings in Christchurch. These include 958 un-reinforced masonry buildings.
A number of un-reinforced masonry buildings were constructed between 1860 and 1940. These are of special significance because they contribute to the character of Christchurch as well as to its heritage.
Cr Wells says the amendments proposed in this consultation are in accord with the Council’s previous resolution to take an active approach in seeking to reduce the risk to life and property from earthquakes. The policy timeframes propose that this risk is managed in a way that is economically and socially responsible.
The proposal also calls for the consideration of additional funding in the 20102-22 Long Term Council Community Plan to support the implementation and compliance with the policy and to set up a seismic strengthening grants fund to assist the owners of heritage buildings.
Cr Wells also says the proposed amendments include setting the timeframes for strengthening earthquake-prone buildings according to their level of importance in the community.
Buildings which would need to be operational following an earthquake, such as hospitals, will be required to strengthen their buildings in 15 years; buildings where people may congregate or contain items of value to the community, such as churches, within 20 years; and other buildings will have 30 years to complete strengthening work.
The timeframes, if adopted by the Council, will come into effect on 1 July 2012.
· Category A - Buildings with special post-disaster functions categorised at Importance Level 4 - 15 years.
· Category B - Buildings that contain people in crowds or contents of high value to the community categorised at Importance Level 3 - 20 years.
· Category C - Buildings with an Importance Level of less than 3 - 30 years.
The policy is required to be reviewed under the Building Act 2004.
The special consultative procedure for this proposal will be from 30 March to 7 May 2010.
Written submissions on this proposal may be made to the Council either:
Through the Council's website (www.ccc.govt.nz/HaveYourSay), or
By email to EarthquakeProneBuildingsPolicy@ccc.govt.nz, or
By completing the submission form or in any other written form and posting to: