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Work starts on Hotel Grand Chancellor

Work starts on Hotel Grand Chancellor, Tuesday 1 March 2011 8:15am

Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by canterburyearthquake| Comments Off

Work begun yesterday (Monday 28 February) on a programme of work to stabilise the Hotel Grand Chancellor (HGC).

The damage initially delayed checking of the buildings within the 90m cordon around the hotel because of the risk to the USAR teams. However, more detailed engineering advice indicates that only the block immediately in front of the HGC building will have to wait until the hotel is stabilised to be checked. This area includes the Holiday Inn building.

USAR engineers and structural engineers have carried out a detailed evaluation of the building which shows the building initially tilted because critical structural elements at ground level in the south east part of the building failed.

In addition three columns on Level 12 have been damaged. Survey monitoring conducted since Wednesday 23 February has established that there has been no further movement of the structure.

“It is difficult to assess the building’s capacity to resist aftershocks, but we do know that the building’s structure is stable and it’s resisted several strong aftershocks without any signs of further movement,” says Building Evaluation Manager Steve McCarthy.

“It will take around three weeks to complete the full programme of work.”

In the first phase which will start in the ground floor foyer area, concrete will be poured into boxed formwork on either side of the damaged wall. Concrete will also be sprayed on both sides of the wall to provide further strengthening.

“In conjunction with this work, we are going to prop two important beams in the south-east corner.”

Once this is complete, steel jacketing will be wrapped around the damaged columns under Level 12, with concrete pumped between the steel and the existing columns to provide strengthening.

“We anticipate that this will stabilise the building sufficiently for USAR teams to enter the building and give them access to survey the block immediately opposite which includes the Holiday Inn.

“Up until now, we have not been able to inspect this area because of the risk.

“We are keen to be able to get this done as soon as possible, but our priority is to ensure we have removed any risk to the USAR team,” Mr McCarthy says.

“Once the stabilisation is complete, we can then move from emergency response into planning the hotel’s future and provide the owners with engineering advice on whether it’s possible to save the building or demolish it.”

Ends

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