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Owners Advised to Consider Options Before Demolition

Public Information Update 5:30pm, Thursday 3 March 2011: Building Owners Advised to Consider Options Before Demolition

Owners of buildings damaged in the February 22 earthquake or aftershocks should be aware of their options before considering building demolition.

There are defined protocols and processes for owners of buildings and additional processes for heritage buildings.

Demolition protocols for earthquake affected buildings that are:

More than six storeys high

Joined to other buildings

Built before 1945.

The owner must first commission a report from a structural engineer including an assessment of the building’s safety, its structural integrity, as well as photos and other relevant documents. This report should include the options to demolition. A demolition plan is also required as part of this report.

This information must then be peer reviewed by another independent structural engineer.

The next step is evaluation by Christchurch City Council including its heritage staff.

These reports – including the council’s recommendations – are provided to the Civil Defence National Controller to make a decision on whether or not the building can be demolished.

If the National Controller is satisfied enough information has been provided a decision on whether or not to demolish will be made. This process overrides heritage law and rules but these will be considered by the National Controller. Ensuring public safety is the primary concern of the National Controller.

Demolition protocols for buildings that are:

Six storeys and less

Standalone (not connected to other buildings)

Built after 1945.

These buildings may be demolished without a demolition building consent. This is allowed under the Canterbury Earthquake Emergency Act (2010).

Heritage buildings are a special case and must be considered by the National Controller for a decision on whether or not demolition can occur.

Residential building owners are strongly advised to contact EQC and their insurance company before proceeding with demolition. If building owners decide to proceed with demolition they are also strongly advised to engage a certified demolition expert to carry out the demolition.

A red sticker alone does not mean a building needs to be demolished as this assessment is based around safety considerations (see below).

Building safety assessment classifications

Green: safe to occupy but the building should still be checked by an engineer engaged by the owner.

Yellow: the building can be entered for short periods of time to take essential or personal items. The building will need to be checked by an engineer engaged by the owner.

Red: the building is not safe to be accessed. The building will need to be checked by an engineer engaged by the owner. Following the engineer’s assessment the owner may be able to enter the building, under the engineer’s supervision, for short periods of time to take essential or personal items.


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