Standards for engineering systems

NZS 4219:2009 is cited as a means to comply with the seismic requirements of several Building Code clauses:

  • Clause B1 Structure – B1.3.1 and B1.3.2 for loads from B1.3.3 (f), (m) and (p), that is, for loads arising from earthquakes and earthquake actions.
  • Clause G10 Piped services – G10.3.1(a) and (c), to prevent leakage, damage or adverse interaction between services arising from earthquakes and earthquake actions.
  • Clause G12 Water supplies – an acceptable alternative to the restraint systems specified for water tanks and hot water cylinders specified in Acceptable Solution G12/AS1.
  • Clause G14 Industrial liquid waste – G14.3.1 (a) and with paragraph 3.2.1 of Verification Method G14/VM1, that is, for freestanding tanks, loads and deformations from earthquakes and earthquake actions.

The objective of NZS 4219:2009 is to safeguard people from injury and to minimise damage by preventing failure of engineering systems when subject to earthquake actions.

To do this, the standard provides requirements for restraining engineering systems in buildings to resist seismic actions. It sets out the criteria for the seismic performance of engineering systems related to a building’s function and covers the design, construction and installation of seismic restraints for these engineering systems.

The standard applies to:

  • all engineering systems necessary to comply with the Building Code
  • all engineering systems essential for the normal operation of the building
  • any building compliance schedule items.

The provisions of NZS 4219:2009 may be used for services in new or existing buildings and for the purpose of retrofitting engineering systems in existing buildings.

NZS 4219:2009 exclusions

Some engineering systems require specific design and installation considerations and are covered in greater depth in specific system standards. For this reason, the following are excluded from the scope of NZS 4219:2009:

  • Fire sprinkler system pipework – see NZS 4541:2020 Automatic fire sprinkler systems. Fire hydrants are not excluded from NZS 4219:2009, although the complying standard is NZS 4510:2008 Fire hydrant systems for buildings.
  • Suspended ceilings – see AS/NZS 2785:2020.
  • Lifts (including guide rails) and escalators – see NZS 4332:1997 Non-domestic passenger and goods lifts.
  • Engineering systems in buildings of importance level 5.
  • Items that are independently supported on the ground outside the building.
  • Individual components with a mass exceeding 20 percent of the combined mass of the component and the building structure and with a period greater than 0.2 seconds.
  • Building contents, such as appliances, and other items not attached to the structure –see NZS 4104:1994 Seismic restraint of building contents.

Note that the structure used to support engineering systems must be able to withstand the additional gravity and seismic loads transferred to it by the system. These loads should be accounted for during the design of the structure using AS/NZS 1170 Structural design actions and is outside the scope of NZS 4219:2009.