19 November 2016

Media release: Make sure your building has been inspected by an engineer

New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) President Peter Smith says people who are concerned about their building should consult their landlord or body corporate and make sure it’s been inspected by a qualified engineer.

“I want to stress that tenants and unit title owners should request a copy of an inspection report after any major earthquake or severe aftershock. It’s really important that this inspection is done by an appropriately qualified Chartered Professional Engineer.

“Contact your landlord or body corporate and request an engineer's inspection. If they don’t comply, report it to the tenancy tribunal or city council.

Structural Engineering Society (SESOC) President Paul Campbell says it’s possible for a building to have been relatively undamaged by the recent earthquakes but perform differently in a future large earthquake with different shaking characteristics.

“This is why we recommend building owners get a qualified structural engineer to undertake a more detailed assessment of your building if you or your tenants have specific concerns about the building’s performance. 

“Building owners need to communicate openly with their tenants to help reduce their concern. Let tenants know that they can read the full engineer’s report for themselves. Ask if they would like the opportunity to talk with the engineer directly.

“It’s also important that tenants communicate openly with owners and engineers about any observed damage, and that they allow access for inspection. In time like this, cooperation is extremely important.

“It’s also important to remember that the first priority of building design is to protect life rather than minimise damage.”

Media release: What to do if you have concerns about a building