Quake safety dis­crep­ancy in alike build­ings

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Porirua Po­lice Sta­tion meets earth­quake stan­dards, de­spite a poor as­sess­ment of an iden­ti­cal build­ing in Napier, say po­lice.

How­ever, some Po­lice Col­lege build­ings fall be­low stan­dard and need strength­en­ing.

Napier City Coun­cil last year as­sessed Napier po­lice sta­tion as meet­ing 15.9 per cent of the build­ing code, half the safe level of 33 per cent.

The three- storey sta­tion is iden­ti­cal in de­sign and ma­te­ri­als to Porirua’s sta­tion.

Both were built in the 1960s by the Min­istry of Works.

Porirua Po­lice Sta­tion was as­sessed two years ago and meets 100 per cent of code in trans­verse (across the build­ing’s width) and 66 per cent of code in lon­gi­tude.

Like all government build­ings, the min­i­mum stan­dard for po­lice sta­tions is 66 per cent.

About 80 of­fi­cers are based at the sta­tion.

Napier’s as­sess­ment was car­ried out by coun­cil of­fi­cers us­ing plans, rather than vis­it­ing the build­ing it­self, says Nick Bohm, district com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for Welling­ton Po­lice.

‘‘ The Porirua

City

Coun­cil com­pletely ac­cepted the as­sess­ment and re­moved the po­lice sta­tion from the [ earth­quake- prone build­ings] reg­is­ter.

‘‘Napier City Coun­cil seems to be tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach, even though their as­sess­ment was a desk­top as­sess­ment.’’

Porirua’s as­sess­ment is likely to be ac­cu­rate, says Grant Ogilvie, New Zealand Po­lice’s chief me­dia ad­viser.

‘‘We do not ac­cept the 15.9 per cent fig­ure from Napier City Coun­cil and have pro­vided them with far more de­tailed cal­cu­la­tions about the struc­turally iden­ti­cal Porirua sta­tion.’’

Mean­while, some build­ings at the Po­lice Col­lege in Pa­pakowhai need earth­quake strength­en­ing, Mr Ogilvie says.

As­sess­ments in 2011 found re­me­dial work was re­quired on the din­ing hall, gym and swim­ming pool, and the Barry Ma­son build­ing – an ad­min­is­tra­tion hub – which were all built in the early 1980s.

All staff have been briefed and the build­ings re­main in use.

The re­me­dial work to the din­ing hall and gym­na­sium/swim­ming pool will be done once the con­sent and ten­der­ing process is com­plete, says a po­lice spokesper­son.

For op­er­a­tional rea­sons, strength­en­ing the Barry Ma­son build­ing will not be done un­til 2014.

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