Tag Archives: Building assessment

Enhancing building performance #eqnz

Knee-jerk reactions to government proposals are hardly necessary at Dunedin, the DCC’s earthquake-prone buildings policy has already been launched.

DCC Earthquake Strengthening + Policy

ODT 8.12.12:
Dunedin City Council [policy planner – heritage] Glen Hazelton said the Government’s proposals were “pretty much in line” with the council’s existing policy. That policy required owners whose buildings were found to be less than 34% of code requirements to upgrade. Owners had between 15 and 34 years to do so, depending on the state of their building, meaning some would face shorter timeframes under the Government’s proposals than they had expected, but not extra costs. The most earthquake damage-prone buildings had faced the shortest timeframes anyway under the council’s policy. The council had warned owners of the possibility timeframes would be reduced from 34 years.
The council’s own buildings – including the likes of the Town Hall, Municipal Chambers and Railway Station – were already having their earthquake strength tested, council city property manager Robert Clark said. That work began early this year and up to 30 written reports on individual buildings were expected by mid-next year. Some, such as the Municipal Chambers, had already been strengthened, while others, like the Railway Station, were considered to be of sturdy construction, but were being checked, he said. Results were yet to be made public, but buildings appeared to be “measuring up at the moment”, reaching 66% of the building code or even better, he said. The council already faced extra costs, having initiated its own checks, but it was “appropriate” to do so and ensure the health and safety of staff and the public. He expected the checks would meet the requirements of the Government proposals, although detailed information was yet to be received. Mr Clark doubted buildings would need to be abandoned or demolished.
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/238351/quake-plans-could-see-buildings-adandoned

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Saturday Dec 8, 2012
Earthquake changes could cost $1.7bn
By Isaac Davison
Uncompromising proposals to eliminate or strengthen earthquake-prone buildings could change the face of character areas such as Mt Eden’s Dominion Rd, and cause complex disputes in high-rise apartments owned by multiple parties. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has proposed seismic assessment of all commercial and high-rise, multi-unit buildings in New Zealand – believed to be 193,000 properties.
Those that were not upgraded to withstand a moderate-sized earthquake within 10 years of assessment would be demolished.
The Government proposals were in response to a Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission report on quake-prone buildings, released yesterday. The ministry broadly agreed with the Royal Commission’s recommendations, but it proposed more lenient timeframes for strengthening and did not agree that the minimum threshold for remedial work should be raised. Housing and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said to do so would impose “catastrophic” costs on society.
The Government proposals have been released in a consultation paper. If they are adopted, the cost of the changes would be borne by councils and property owners.
Read more + Q&A

*****

Only 39 people died due to unreinforced masonry buildings at Christchurch, that’s remarkably few given the age and size of the city, the population size and concentration, and the extent of devastation caused by the quakes.

### NZ Herald Online 10:58 AM Friday Dec 7, 2012
Most NZ buildings to be quake assessed
By Isaac Davison
All non-residential buildings and high-rise, multi-unit apartments in New Zealand will be assessed for earthquake risk and the results made public under Government proposals released this morning.
Any building found to be at risk of collapse will have to be strengthened or demolished within 15 years under the proposed changes, which form the Government’s response to a Royal Commission investigation into earthquake-prone buildings after the Canterbury quakes.
The Government planned to adopt many of the commission’s recommendations, but has chosen longer timeframes and lower minimum standards of building strengthening than the report proposed.
The commission found there was poor information on earthquake-prone buildings in New Zealand, lack of central guidance on defining and repairing these structures, and variable council approaches to fixing the problem. Only 23 of 66 local authorities were able to tell the commission how many earthquake-prone buildings were in their area.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
19.7.12 Tonight – NZHPT Open Lecture WIN CLARK
2.7.12 Demolition by neglect. Townscape precincts.
26.1.12 Earthquake strengthening: voluntary targeted rates scheme
28.12.11 NZHPT National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund
15.12.11 Dunedin: Nominations for heritage re-use awards close next week
5.11.11 Barlow Justice Valuers / New Zealand Historic Places Trust—Heritage Interiors Award 2011-2012
10.10.11 Facebook: Upright! Supporting Dunedin’s Built Heritage
9.10.11 Facebook: Upright! Supporting Dunedin’s Built Heritage
9.10.11 Diesoline – supreme winner of the inaugural Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards
8.10.11 Workshop for heritage building owners – 23 November
3.10.11 Historic heritage SAVE
14.9.11 DCC Media Release: Dunedin’s Heritage Buildings
13.9.11 DCC assistance possible for earthquake strengthening
1.9.11 DCC Finance, Strategy and Development Committee
29.7.11 Disappearing heritage #Dunedin
4.5.11 Dunedin’s goldrush-era heritage won’t fall over, unless you make it
26.4.11 Dunedin Heritage Buildings Economic Re-use Steering Group
28.3.11 Dunedin earthquake proneness 2
10.3.11 Layers of Gold – Dunedin Heritage Festival 18-21 March 2011
21.2.11 Dunedin Heritage: Central government should be contributing
21.2.11 The proactive heritage development lobby EXISTS in Dunedin
19.2.11 Dunedin, are you ‘of a mind’ to protect Historic Heritage?
20.1.11 Dunedin Heritage Fund
16.1.11 DScene: Honour heritage
26.12.10 Historic heritage notes

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

6 Comments

Filed under #eqnz, Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Economics, Heritage, Media, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

Letter from Christchurch 2 #eqnz

UPDATED

Today’s Press has more examples of high-handed action.

The Piko Whole-Foods Co-op store – an important social and architectural landmark – had its top storey removed before the owners knew what was going to happen. The heritage team at Christchurch City Council worked with the owners to try and stop the demolition but the top floor had already gone by the time they got there and its landmark value has been completely destroyed. The building had been earthquake strengthened within the past few years and though it did have some serious damage it is far from clear that it was beyond repair.

It had the misfortune to be sited on a major intersection of the one way system and we all know that free movement of cars must be put ahead of buildings. There was absolutely no question of people being in the building and thorough shoring up should have ensured public safety.

There is some sort of process for group 1 & 2 listed buildings, plus NZHPT registered buildings – a cursory sort of report by the heritage planners (they are so overwhelmed that the reports are completely perfunctory) – and a report from the NZHPT and/or council engineer, but the Civil Defence Controller has the final say.

I am not sure that NZHPT is fighting too hard anyway from what I can gather – because people have been killed (mainly in modern buildings) they seem to have taken the view that they can’t push hard for heritage.

If the owner can be identified (not always easy) they might be given 24 hours notice so have a chance to argue for a delay. If buildings are unlisted and simply make an important contribution to the character of a precinct, no process is required at all. Nothing at all can be done to try and avert demolition.

There seems to have been some agreement made between Civil Defence and the council staff involved with Civil Defence, that no cordons to protect the public from buildings needing repair will be put in place if they would encroach into a road – as long as they take that view not much will be saved.

As a result of tonight’s meeting a delegation of heritage advocates and business people are going to try and meet the Civil Defence Controller tomorrow to urge a slow down, but whether they will even be granted an appointment is far from certain.

We are meeting again on Friday to plan our next steps, especially if the appeal to the Controller fails to have any impact. The scary thing is the Government can just keep on extending the state of emergency.

{Letter received by What if? on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 11.24pm. Names removed to protect identities. -Eds}

(9.00am) What if? learned the group has been granted a meeting today with the Civil Defence Controller.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

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