If your home, workplace or property is damaged by a major event it may need a building assessment. This is to ensure it is safe to enter, safe to occupy and does not risk the safety of others.
This page contains information on the assessment process and authorised assessors.
Building Assessment in a State of Emergency
In a state of emergency, the local authority is likely to begin the rapid building assessment process.
Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 (CDEM Act), territorial authorities are responsible for:
- Identifying buildings and co-ordinating rapid building assessments
- Issuing and controlling the use of signs (for example, building assessment notices such as placards)
- Making dangerous structures safe by demolishing or cordoning/barricading
- Requiring evacuation of and limiting entry to premises or places (including public spaces)
- Prohibiting or restricting public access to roads or public places
- Examining, marking, seizing, sampling, securing, disinfecting, or destroying any property to prevent or limit the extent of the emergency.
Building Assessment Where No State of Emergency is Declared
If an area has been affected by a major event, but no state of emergency is declared, the council may not automatically carry out a rapid building assessment.
Building owners and others (such as employers, bodies corporate and community group boards) must comply with their obligations under the Building Act and other laws such as health and safety, tenancy, other legislation (such as the Unit Tiles Act), lease agreements and contracts.
Territorial authorities or their trained professionals may apply rapid building assessment processes to:
- Residential buildings
- Commercial buildings
- High rise buildings
- Key community buildings such as hospitals, police stations, schools and welfare centres.
Rapid building assessments are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of building occupants after a major event. They are a good way to prioritise the structural condition of buildings and also identify the worst immediate hazards.
Assessors are authorised and trained by territorial authorities . They include structural engineers, building officials and architects, and will assess:
- Any structural damage to the building itself
- The use of streets and other buildings adjacent to the damaged buildings.
The rapid assessment process only relates to the building structure and any nearby hazards. The territorial authority or their assessor attach, change and remove placards that indicate the level of damage, based on their assessment. They are the only people authorised to do this .
The assessor does not check other functions within the building, such as partitions, fittings, electrical, gas, water or sewage systems.
This information is sourced from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). For more detailed information regarding the post-emergency building assessment process: