Waikato DHB will undertake seismic strengthening work on the Waiora Waikato Centre building at its Waikato Hospital campus.
The building had previously been rated at 50% New Building Standard (NBS), placing it above the 34% NBS requirement for older buildings. However, a detailed assessment was recently completed which measured the building against the updated standards introduced with the Building (Earthquake-prone buildings) Amendment Act in 2017.
The latest assessment rated the Waiora building at 15% NBS with the plant housing on the roof identified as the key area requiring strengthening.
Waikato DHB has engaged engineers to provide advice on structural improvements and work is expected to begin on the plant housing early next year to look to double the building’s NBS rating, with further strengthening work occurring later in the year to rate the building above the required standard.
Whilst an organisation could expect to be given a timeframe of 12-plus years to undertake similar strengthening work, the DHB is opting to start immediately.
“Our preference is to take action now to bring the building to the required standard and the guidance we have received indicates that can be achieved relatively quickly.” chief executive Kevin Snee said.
The Waiora building was designed in 1965. It is predominantly reinforced concrete with five levels above ground and two basement levels. The building provides offices for clinical and support staff and the DHB’s laboratory. The plant room on the roof is constructed of steel frame with concrete walls.