Update – April 2017
- Worksheets have been developed that allow engineers to assess the star-ratings of commercial buildings for Safety, Damage and Repair Time. These have been reviewed by a reference panel of engineers and are now ready to undergo NZ-wide trials by consulting engineers.
- These trials were programmed for 2017 but the Kaikoura Earthquake and its impacts on Wellington have delayed them until further notice. Feedback from the trial will enable development of final versions of the Worksheets.
- Star-ratings for Safety are fully aligned with the new NZSEE Assessment Guidelines and with %NBS values determined in the past or in future. Star ratings for Damage and Repair Time are based on the engineer’s assessment of the effects of 500-year shaking – the same as that used in the design of new office buildings.
- Initial versions of Worksheets for small residential buildings have been developed and are awaiting technical review. These are a simplified version of the commercial Worksheets.
- In recognition of the possibly prohibitive costs of full engineering assessment of houses, work has begun on a possible online self-assessment tool that would at least provide an indicative rating – and raise awareness of earthquake risk issues. It is being designed to be suitable for use directly by owners who are members of QuakeStar.
- The website www.quakestar.org has been updated to include an overview presentation and sample Worksheets.
- A strategy meeting was held on 15 March 2017 between QuakeStar representatives, Dr Ron Mayes of US Resiliency Council, and the CEOs of Property Council of New Zealand and IPENZ. This identified a range of challenges to establishment of QuakeStar and some positive action points which will be followed up. The growing acceptance of the USRC rating system in California was noted, including that there is a prospect of ratings being required for new buildings.
- Establishing QuakeStar as an Incorporated Society has been proposed as fitting the not-for-profit nature of the organisation. This allows wide membership, including individuals and simpler organisational and governance arrangements. The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development has this structure.
- The proposed operating structure for determining and ratifying the ratings remains as shown in the attached diagram.
Commitment and funding needed
- QuakeStar promises to be vitally important to the commercial property industry as a means to improve the management of earthquake risk throughout New Zealand.
- In order for this to become a reality, commitment from key beneficiaries is needed. This includes especially, local authorities, insurers, funders, building owners, tenants, building users and central government.