Council appoints specialists to assess building performance for earthquake loadings
Council is engaging structural specialists to assess the seismic performance of approximately 1500 buildings in the district.
Consultants from Opus and Beca have been selected to commence the assessments in the next few weeks following a request for proposals from interested and suitably qualified technical specialists late last year.
The seismic or earthquake-prone building assessment project is a major initiative included in Council’s FutureKāpiti - Long term plan 2015-35.
Regulatory Services Group Manager, Kevin Currie says the selection of Opus and Beca means Council can start this important piece of work.
“This project is driven by central government and is a response to the Canterbury earthquakes. The Building Act 2004 requires us to assess all commercial, industrial and school buildings – and residential buildings that are two or more storeys high and contain three or more household units. We are going to do this over a period of five years.
“We’ve carried out a preliminary review of our files and identified approximately 1500 Buildings across the Kāpiti Coast district requiring seismic assessment.
“Initially, we’ll conduct a pilot to standardise the processes that will be used by our technical specialists to assess a building’s earthquake-prone status. To do this, we will assess a mix of 26 Council-owned buildings and privately-owned commercial buildings.
“Once the pilot is completed, all other buildings we’ve identified as requiring assessment will be reviewed. We will advise all affected building owners in advance. At this stage we plan to assess:
- 150 buildings in the first year - 2015/16
- 250 buildings in the second year - 2016/17
- 300 buildings in the third year - 2017/18
- 375 building in the fourth year - 2018/19
- 425 buildings in the fifth year - 2019/20.
“Buildings belonging to utilities that have a role in emergency and post-disaster response function, such as those used by ambulance and fire services, and schools, will be a priority in the first year.
Mr Currie says the technical specialists have a great deal of expertise in assessing the earthquake performance of buildings.
“Opus has worked with Chorus, the Ministry of Justice as well as the Ministry of Education in considering their building stock as well as specialist advice.
“Beca assisted Wellington City Council in developing the Council’s methodology for implementing its earthquake prone building policy and the model for carrying out initial building assessments. The policy is recognised as one of the most successful in New Zealand. Beca has also worked with Victoria University of Wellington and KiwiRail in assessing their building stock.
“Opus and Beca will use a best-practice assessment process developed by the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineers to identify earthquake-prone buildings.”
View information on the earthquake-prone building project on Council’s website www.kapiticoast.govt.nz, including frequently asked questions.