In areas that are subjected to the high potential of earthquakes due to the positioning of tectonic plates and historic earthquake activity, the design must account for and take measures to ensure that the building is constructed to withstand earth movement.

Factors impacting Earthquake Loads:

  • Location of the site to determine the Hazard Design Factor
  • Importance level of the building – Levels 1 to 4 (see NCC B1.2 Tables B1.2a and B1.2b)
  • Site Sub-Soil classification – Class Ae, Be, Ce, De, E(see Section 4 AS1170.4)
  • Structure height.

Importance Level:

  1. Buildings or structures presenting a low degree of hazard to life and other property in the case of failure, such as farm buildings.
  2. Low rise residential construction.
  3. Buildings containing large numbers of people, eg. Meeting hall, school.
  4. Buildings essential to post-disaster recovery, or hazardous facilities.


Regulatory Information

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for Earthquake loads is:

AS1170.4 (2007) Earthquake Loads



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