Ashburton’s earthquake prone buildings strengthened

21/05/2015 12:00 a.m.

When it comes to earthquake strengthening, Ashburton building owners are taking the issue seriously.

Figures from the Ashburton District Council show that of the 319 buildings identified by the Council as potentially earthquake prone, 286 have had engineering assessments carried out and the owners have provided reports to Council.

There are only 33 buildings for which no reports have been provided.

Council's Building Services Manager Michael Wong says another plus for Ashburton is that most building owners have chosen to strengthen beyond 34 percent of the building code, with the majority strengthening to 67 percent in order to meet the expectations of tenants and insurers.

Around 58 earthquake prone buildings have been demolished or strengthened to date. The latest building to be strengthened is Subway, and the owner has chosen to strengthen to 67 percent.

Mr Wong says a 35-year timeframe (10 years for assessment and 25 years for strengthening work) proposed by the Government for the assessment and strengthening of earthquake prone buildings is far too long for the Ashburton District and the Council does not support the extended timeframes.

Among the other changes being proposed by the Government is a public register of earthquake prone buildings. Another is a requirement to display colour coded placards on the outside wall of buildings. Red will mean the building is 20 percent or less of the building code, and orange will indicate the building is between 21 percent and 33 percent.

Mr Wong says at this stage none of the proposed changes are final, with the select committee due to report back to Parliament in July.

Detailed regulations still have to be drafted, including how the engineering assessments will be carried out, he says.




Page reviewed: 23 Sep 2015 1:54pm