Seismic strength, ratings a worry

Wellingtonians are more worried than Cantabrians or Aucklanders about the seismic strength of buildings, a new survey by Colliers International shows.

The agency's third tenant earthquake risk assessment survey found 60 per cent of Wellington respondents were concerned.

This compared to 43 per cent of respondents from Auckland and 48 per cent of Cantabrians.

It reports the level of concern has subsided slowly since the survey was started.

Overall, only 16 per cent respondents were more concerned about their building's strength than they were six months ago.

Fading concerns are attributed to the passing of three years since the last major Christchurch quakes, greater understanding of the issue, further government guidance on seismic strengthening requirements and work that has now been done to strengthen buildings.

Most building occupiers still believe that buildings below 33 per cent of new building standard are not acceptable. Nearly half of respondents felt 33-67 per cent was appropriate, while 42 per cent believed buildings should be more than over 67 per cent of new building standard.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed believed building owners should pay to lift the minimum seismic rating of a building.

"While concerns are reducing, the issue of seismic strength and new building standard ratings remain a key consideration for almost 1 in 2 tenants nationally.

"Regionally, Wellingtonians remain the most concerned about the seismic strength of their buildings.

"The recent jump in investor confidence in Wellington in our latest investor confidence survey signals owners are more cognisant of tenant requirements and their future obligations towards this issue."

The Dominion Post