New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Commercial Design Trends Vol. 30/9 - Page 33

MARKET REPORT HERITAGE BUILDINGS SEISMIC RETROFITS Preserving heritage buildings from seismic damage and making them safer is a focus for specialist engineers, says John Hare of Holmes Consulting Group Above:John Hare of Holmes Consulting Group discusses the case for preserving heritage buildings, and looks at areas where conventional analysis fails. Below:The Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki, which opened in 1888, is a prominent heritage building in the city that has undergone extensive structural renovations and an interior refit. It was voted World Building of the Year 2013-14. Nobody knows exactly how many buildings in New Zealand can be classed as earthquake risks, but there’s little doubt it’s a frightening number. Recent earthquakes have put the spotlight firmly on the safety of the country’s buildings, with owners and users alike concerned to understand how well they might perform in an earthquake, and what they can do to improve them. In the case of New Zealand’s precious heritage buildings, it’s an exceptionally fine balance between preserving the heritage quality and delivering the appropriate levels of safety for the people who use them. Across the country, specialist engineers are finding ways to do exactly that. Earthquake risk buildings Earthquake risk building is a general term to describe all buildings either not designed to withstand earthquakes, or those designed to a significantly lower level of seismic resistance than a new building would be designed to deliver. In simple terms, that lower level is less than 67% of the equivalent new building design load. Of these buildings, some will prove to be ‘earthquake prone’, SEARCH | SAVE | SHARE AT 31