Building Code compliance

New Zealand Building Code clause B1 Structure requires all building elements to have a low probability of failure when exposed to loads likely to be experienced within the building’s usable life.

There are several Building Code supporting documents available to help designers meet this requirement. Unfortunately, the guidance is not entirely consistent or located in a single resource and which guidance the designer should follow depends on the restraint requirements of the non-structural component in question.

For engineering systems, the most common way to meet these requirements is to use Building Code Verification Method B1/VM1, which cites NZS 4219:2009 Seismic performance of engineering systems in buildings.

The restraint of building elements not covered by NZS 4219:2009 should be designed in accordance with two standards taken together. The first is NZS 1170.5:2004 Structural design actions – Part 5: Earthquake actions – New Zealand, and the second is either:

  • the appropriate materials standard (such as NZS 3404:1997 Steel structures standard) or
  • the specific system standard (such as AS/NZS 2785:2000 Suspended ceilings – Design and installation for suspended ceilings).

In this section: