Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Structural engineers support Statistics House recommendation

Media release: Structural engineers support Statistics House recommendations

Engineers say results from the Statistics House investigation will help build more resilient buildings.

New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) President Peter Smith says every earthquake provides new information on how to improve building design.

“Investigations like this are crucial to making our buildings safer. We need to gain access to detailed information on how other buildings performed, to help widen understanding of whole-of-building performance.

“Statistics House illustrated how different factors can combine in unexpected and unprecedented ways.

“In Wellington, this earthquake most severely affected mid-height buildings. Because the earthquake was so far away, only low-frequency waves made it to the Capital. These waves resonated with mid-height buildings, which combined with the earthquake’s long duration meant mid-height buildings experienced severe shaking.

“Basically these flexible, modern buildings experienced a design-level earthquake – an earthquake that met or exceeded what they were designed to withstand.

“At the same time, shorter and stiffer buildings experienced an earthquake that wasn’t even one-third of Code. But these earthquake-prone buildings still pose a significant risk to public safety, especially in an earthquake centred closer to Wellington. It’s really important that vulnerable features on these buildings, such as parapets and facades, are secured during this time of heightened seismic risk.”

Structural Engineering Society (SESOC) spokesperson Paul Campbell says the Statistics House investigation has revealed that buildings with key characteristics may be vulnerable in an earthquake that’s both large and long.

“In a large and long-duration earthquake, these key characteristics are flexible frames in combination with precast floors.

“Flexible frames are designed to bend so that the ends of the beams experience controlled damage.

“But the Kaikoura earthquake has confirmed that if an earthquake is strong enough and long enough, the damage can make the beams grow in length. This means the supports for the pre-cast floor system can move too far apart, potentially causing parts of the floor to lose their support and collapse.

“When Statistics House was built, the Building Code did not allow for this combination of factors – but it does now.

“The Canterbury earthquakes led to Building Code changes – and now more changes are likely given what we have learned from the Kaikoura earthquake.

“Engineers will be working with MBIE to further develop detailed guidance on assessing and retrofitting buildings with these characteristics.”

/ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The
America’s Cup

The fact New Zealand now reigns supreme once again in the most sophisticated contest in the world’s most elite sport – yacht racing – can’t help but reflect the trajectory the country has been on since the 1980s...

Elite sport used to feel more like a collective, shared experience. It was our team, composed of people who lived and worked like us. Now, not so much. More>>

 

PM's Press Conference: Red Socks And Secret Tapes

Prime Minister Bill English began his post-cabinet press conference by explaining how well the National Party's annual conference went. He also mentioned today's announcement of changes to the EQC disaster insurance legislation and wished Emirates Team New Zealand well in the America's Cup. More>>

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government More Open

International surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

In Court: Hamilton Student's Lawsuit Over Climate Change Policy

A law student from Hamilton is preparing to challenge the Government in the High Court on Monday over what she says is a “failure” to properly address climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement. As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog