Enhancing seismic regulatory compliance practices for non-structural elements in New Zealand

  • Temitope Egbelakin Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7086-2437
  • Itohan E. Yakubu Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Justin Bowden The Fletcher Construction Company Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand


Most non-structural elements (NSEs) including ceilings, piping, services equipment and cladding systems, etc., are typically prone to failure in the event of relatively low to medium earthquake shakings. The poor performance of NSEs demonstrated in recent earthquake events in New Zealand has revealed a gap in NSE design and construction practices, especially regarding compliance with the NSE performance standard (NZS 4219:2009). This study sought to examine the NZ 4219:2009 and compliance in New Zealand’s construction industry, towards improving the performance of NSEs during earthquakes.
Using a face-to-face interview enquiry technique, findings from this study revealed that although majority of the participants consider the NZS 4219:2009 to be very important in improving the performance of NSEs during earthquakes, some shortcomings were also identified: (i) non-compliance with the NZ 4219:2009 by construction professionals; (ii) exclusion of guidelines for specific NSEs from the scope of the NZS 4219:2009; (iii) poor ease of use of the NZS 4219:2009 and other relevant excluded NSE guidelines; and (iv) lack of clarity in the NZS 4219:2009 regarding attribution of ultimate design responsibility for NSE seismic coordination.

As a recommendation, the establishment of a robust, simple-to-use seismic specification document that will provide one-stop specifications for the design and installation of NSEs could be a possible solution to promoting strong compliance practices within the New Zealand construction industry, towards achieving improved performance of NSEs during earthquakes.


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How to Cite
Egbelakin, T., Yakubu, I. E., & Bowden, J. (2018). Enhancing seismic regulatory compliance practices for non-structural elements in New Zealand. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 51(1), 47-54. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.51.1.47-54

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