New research published on societal expectations for seismic performance of buildings

Over the past year, we’ve been working alongside the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering, with funding from the Earthquake Commission, to understand societal expectations for the seismic performance of buildings.

While Aotearoa New Zealand has gone through unprecedented losses from seismic activity, our understanding and knowledge of seismic hazards has advanced, highlighting shortcomings in the seismic settings of our building regime.

This research is a first step towards understanding and confirming what New Zealanders want regarding the seismic performance of buildings, providing insight into the changes and decisions the country needs to make regarding our seismic engineering and building practices, and the current regulatory regime.
Read more about this project>

Key findings

  1. Safety is non-negotiable.
  2. People are expecting more from buildings than that they just stay up after earthquakes. Social and economic recovery are also important objectives.
  3. Speed of recovery is a particular priority for some building types (e.g., marae, community centres, homes) which are currently not prioritised.
  4. Appetite for risk and expectations of buildings’ seismic performance varies significantly among those surveyed.
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