Deadline extended for Building Resilience Fund

16 April 2020

Wellington City Council is calling on owners of earthquake-prone non-heritage buildings to apply for the Building Resilience Fund (BRF) – made easier with an extended deadline, newly approved eligibility criteria, and help connecting with engineers working from home.

Image of McCormack’s Gallery and Studio in Island Bay including mural

McCormack’s Gallery and Studio in Island Bay

Owners have until 22 April to apply for a Council grant to fund or part-fund an initial or detailed seismic assessment with detailed seismic design, or these items individually.

“During lockdown, we’ve been working with Engineering New Zealand and Structural Engineering Society New Zealand (SESOC) to see how best we can connect building owners with engineers who now find themselves working from home,” says Samantha McKeown, Council’s Technical Advisor Resilient Buildings.

“Building owners can now find a list of engineers on our website who have capacity to provide fee estimates, to enable owners to continue with or complete their applications for funding.”

This second funding round follows the recently approved inaugural round of funding allocations. Eight eligible applications will receive funding totalling $132,558, which was approved in March.  Applications for funding included buildings ranging from small two-storey commercial buildings to large multi-residential buildings with up to 39 units (see table below).

One successful applicant, Michael McCormack of The Terminus Store Ltd in Island Bay, operates McCormack’s Gallery and Studio.

“When Christchurch was destroyed by an earthquake, our apprehension about ownership skyrocketed. Instead of feeling excited that we actually owned the studio, and therefore could feel settled, we knew the earthquake meant massive cost increases on the horizon, from insurance increases to perceived value decrease,” says Michael.

His painting of a large outside mural on the Reef St side of his premises was his way of taking positive action with a difficult situation. With the support of funding from the Building Resilience Fund it now means that a detailed seismic assessment can be done on the building to help gain an understanding of the percentage of the new building standard that the building currently meets.

Building Resilience and Heritage portfolio lead Councillor Iona Pannett says that funding is there to help local businesses and property owners.

“Funding like this supports people like Michael to operate a local successful business, with the knowledge that the building he is operating in is safe and up to standard for his business and the public.”

Mayor Andy Foster says that ongoing funding will be directed to buildings where successful seismic strengthening outcomes would be unlikely without assistance.

“The fund acknowledges the difficulties owners face with reduced time frames in achieving compliance, and the challenges faced by owners in engaging engineers.

“Connecting building owners with engineers working from home during lockdown will hopefully make it easier for applicants. I ask all building owners to continue applying or start a new application if you haven’t already. This fund really supports and contributes towards the safety and well-being of the public and the future resilience for us all in Wellington.”

Background

The $500,000 Building Resilience Fund was approved last year as part of the 2019/2020 Annual Plan. As not all of the funding has been allocated to eligible applications, a second round of applications has been opened. Applications close on 22 April, and the decision will be made 20 May. Funding will be directed to buildings where successful seismic strengthening outcomes would be unlikely without assistance. The fund acknowledges the difficulties for owners faced with reduced time frames in achieving compliance, the challenges faced by owners in engaging engineers and contributes towards the safety and well-being of the public.

More information and engineer list can be found in the Council's funding section:

Mural Painting:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8fBWgMAfoM

Recipients from previous round of BRF:


Applicant

Address

Amount Granted

ex GST if applicable

Blythswood Flats

3 Aro Street

$45,000

Body Corporate 3320880

195 Vivian Street

$11,500

Dixon Lane Apartments Body Corporate

7 Feltex Lane

$9,400

Federico Family Trust

349 The Parade

$1,788

EB & BR Cornick

73 Hutt Road

$25,990

Hardwick Trustees Limited

188 Thorndon Quay

$10,545

Karori Lawn Tennis Club

226 Karori Road

$8,000

Tawa Rugby Club

23A Lyndhurst Park

$13,000

The Terminus Store Ltd

355 The Parade

$7,335

$132,558