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Seismic testing to start at Buller Health

Media release

17 August 2012

Seismic testing to start at Buller Health

Drilling equipment will move on to the Buller Health site next week to begin seismic testing of the land.

After several rounds of public consultation, the West Coast DHB decided last year to go ahead with the concept of a whole of health system facility for Buller and agreed that the preferred site for the proposed integrated family health centre was the current Buller Health site.

David Meates, chief executive of the West Coast DHB, says some of the key considerations to progressing the project were the need for services to be sustained while the development was under way, seismic risk, integrating some existing structures, flexibility for further expansion, and affordability.

"The seismic testing is part of information gathering as we work towards the design and build phases.

“This new facility will integrate with existing facilities while supporting and enhancing the right care in the right place, at the right time,” he said.

Wayne Lawson, Canterbury District Health Board Construction, Property Manager, who is leading this work for West Coast DHB says the drilling helps to identify subsurface soil conditions and structure, soil bearing capacity, its susceptibility to liquefaction in a major earthquake, and inform decisions on options to remediate it if necessary.

The contract for the seismic testing has been let to Tonkin and Taylor and the firm will be drilling bore holes to take soil samples at various locations near the buildings.

"This geotechnical data provides essential design information for the structural engineers to use when preparing their design for the foundations of buildings on the site," Mr Lawson says.

As well as taking soil samples, the firm will undertake penetrometer testing, a method which uses resistance to assess the strength of the ground.

Mr Lawson says the equipment is essentially a truck with a drilling rig on the back and is expected to be on site for three to four days. Contractors will be endeavouring to keep disruption to traffic and parking to a minimum.


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