In early 2012, Auckland Council completed an Initial Engineering Performance (IEP) assessment of Shortland Flats which was supplemented by a similar study commissioned by the Board. The finding was that the building exceeded the 34% New Building Standard (NBS) threshold. Shortland Flats is not classified as an earthquake-prone building and no statutory seismic strengthening is required. This is not expected to change under the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill 2013 introduced in Parliament on 11 December 2013. It may become law in 2015.
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission recommended that "in the case of unreinforced masonry buildings, the out-of-plane resistance of chimneys, parapets, ornaments and external walls to lateral forces" shall be required to be upgraded to a higher standard of 50% NBS. Some similar requirement, for all older buildings, is expected to be included in the Bill currently before Parliament. Shortland Flats is of reinforced concrete construction with block infill, but it does have parapets with ornaments.
Wanting to provide guidance for future major project funding and safeguard residents and the public, the Board began a project to evaluate the seismic strength of the building’s parapets. This analysis was not a part of the earlier assessments. The Lough Downey Ltd report Seismic Appraisal of Parapets, dated 20 December 2013, reported the ability of the parapets “to resist seismic loads up to and exceeding that required of New Building Standard (100% NBS)” means that in a moderate earthquake they should not be a risk to the public or occupants of Shortland Flats. The project was partially funded by an Auckland Council Heritage Fund grant. The full report was sent to all shareholders in early 2014.
If you are considering purchasing one of the apartments, you can request the reports from the vendor's agent.