New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Commercial Design Trends Vol. 30/9 - Page 36

found, it’s sometimes best to design and install interim securing measures. Interim securing ties the building together so that it can at least develop its potential until a strengthening solution can be found. The Christchurch earthquakes demonstrated that good interim securing can be very effective in reducing the potential for catastrophic collapse of heritage buildings. One of the best examples in the city is the Arts Centre, where most of the old stone buildings had undergone interim securing, but were yet to be strengthened. Although the buildings were damaged, they stayed standing, and their occupants lived to tell the tale. Is earthquake risk real? In spite of recent, major seismic events in New Zealand, many people still hold the dangerous misconception that there are some areas of the country free of earthquake risk. Unfortunately, although some areas appear further away from fault lines, there’s nowhere in New Zealand that’s safe from the threat. As the Christchurch earthquakes proved, there could be unknown faults almost anywhere. New Zealand’s seismic design code already 34 SEARCH | SAVE | SHARE AT makes allowance for the lower risk of earthquake in the regions away from the main fault lines, by reducing the required design loads in those areas. Even for Auckland, a city with a relatively low risk of damaging earthquakes, the question of what happens when there IS an earthquake is what we need to consider, if we are to preserve our heritage. At the very least, we should identify the most at risk buildings and determine a sensible way to deal with them. Heritage buildings will certainly figure prominently in that discussion. The final word: act now, not later It’s far easier and less expensive to strengthen buildings before the earthquake than it is to fix them afterwards. There are some very encouraging stories of Christchurch heritage buildings where the strengthening time, money and effort was spent before the earthquakes. Those buildings are still with us today. It’s a compelling reason to act now, rather than scrambling to pick up the pieces after an earthquake hits. save | share Search 44559 at Below:As part of the new Supreme Court building project in Wellington, the historic High Court building was extensively restored and rebuilt to meet seismic requirements. This included base isolation work and significant strengthening.