Engineering New Zealand is collaborating with MBIE to find ways to incorporate the outputs of the National Seismic Hazard Model’s 2022 update into the building regulatory system. The results of this collaboration have been used to inform the content of a draft Technical Specification TS 1170.5, which is now open for feedback.

The National Seismic Hazard Model calculates the likelihood and strength of earthquake shaking that may occur in different parts of Aotearoa New Zealand over specified time periods. This new Technical Specification would be the first released document for the design of new buildings using the science and learnings from the 2022 update of the National Seismic Hazard Model.

Current earthquake loading requirements for new buildings under legislation are not changing. Similarly, the proposed Technical Specification does not change the requirements of the earthquake-prone building (EPB) system. The EPB system continues to use the seismic hazard specified in B1/VM1 on the date the legislation came into effect, 1 July 2017 (ie NZS 1170.5:2004).

The draft TS 1170.5 is now open for comment and will close in four weeks on Thursday 14 March 2024.

Once consultation has closed, Standards New Zealand will look to finalise and publish TS 1170.5. It will then be able to be used by designers on a voluntary basis as one way of demonstrating compliance with the performance-based Building Code, through an Alternative Solution.

Engineering New Zealand is committed to fostering safe and resilient building practices through new scientific knowledge and encourages the wider engineering sector to engage with this consultation.

Webinars on Tuesday 27 and Thursday 29 February, designed to help viewers engage during the public comment period, will explain the key changes from NZS 1170.5:2004 in the draft Technical Specification. Presenters will include members of the Seismic Risk Working Group and the Standards New Zealand TS 1170.5 Committee.

Standards New Zealand has provided both the draft TS 1170.5 for consultation and commentary on the draft.

Go to consultation

Watch webinar recordings