What do New Zealanders want from their buildings?

Insights from our resilient buildings project

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. 

In this series of posts, we explore some of our key findings in more depth to give some insight into what New Zealanders think about the performance of buildings in the event of an earthquake and the changes and decisions the country needs to make regarding our seismic engineering and building practices and the current regulatory regime.

What do New Zealanders want from their buildings?

Is keeping people safe (life safety) the only thing we require of our buildings following a major earthquake?

That’s one of the questions we explored with participants in our recent EQC-funded, NZSEE Resilient Buildings Project.

Our current building code focuses on preserving life and making sure critical emergency response facilities are operational. But participants in our study indicated that while life safety remains the most important focus, having a building stock that can enable social and economic recovery is an increasing priority: enabling communities to access essential goods connect, work and regain a sense of normalcy.

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Beyond this, there is also growing awareness and priority to minimise the likely environmental impacts of an earthquake such as waste generation, and unnecessary embodiment of carbon in repair and rebuild.

Establishing and articulating clear priorities is an essential foundation of any strategy or policy. If you need support understanding your priorities and translating them into a strategy, get in touch with our team to find out how we can support you.

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