Last year, the Palmerston North City Council released its initial list of Earthquake Prone Buildings. At the time 400 other buildings were prioritised based on high public use and emergency services buildings - These buildings are progressively being assessed, a process that is expected to take up to four years to complete.
Peter Eathorne, General Manager Customer Services, says the list comprises mostly of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in the city centre and the buildings listed are below 33 per cent of what is required for new buildings. The Building Act 2004 defines buildings below 33 per cent of code as earthquake-prone and having greater risk of collapse in a moderate earthquake.
Buildings are added to the list after an initial conservative assessment has been carried out by a consulting engineer on behalf of the Council. It is updated every few months as more buildings in the city are assessed.
Recent additions include:
• The old Police Station, the Church of Christ Scientist, 81-84 The Plaza and Club Hotel all in Church Street
• The Commerce, HL Young and Master Bakery buildings in Broadway Avenue
• Lincoln Automatics in Taonui Street
• Westside Chambers on The Square
• The Goodman Building in Rangitīkei Street
Peter Eathorne says the owners of the buildings on the list now need to carry out their own structural integrity assessment or start planning for a strengthening programme. Since the original list was compiled several owners have provided structural engineering reports showing their buildings comply, others have carried out work to ensure their buildings meet the code and these buildings have been removed from the list.
The full list can be found here.