SEIS­MIC PRO­GRAMME helps reach mu­tual as­sess­ment

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS - MORE DE­TAILS, WWW.ENGINEERINGNZ.ORG

ENGI­NEER­ING NEW ZEALAND Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Su­san Free­man- Greene says en­gi­neers are con­cerned by re­ports of widely dif­fer­ing seis­mic as­sess­ments, so the pro­fes­sional body has launched a pro­gramme to pro­vide in­de­pen­dent, ex­pert fa­cil­i­ta­tion to help en­gi­neers agree on a nar­rower as­sess­ment rat­ing to help re­solve the sit­u­a­tion.

“Seis­mic as­sess­ments re­quire sig­nif­i­cant pro­fes­sional judge­ment. This means that dif­fer­ent en­gi­neers can pro­duce dif­fer­ing as­sess­ments of the same build­ing. But it’s im­por­tant they are in the same ball­park,” states Free­man- Greene.

She said if there are sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent seis­mic as­sess­ments for the same build­ing, Engi­neer­ing New Zealand first rec­om­mends those en­gi­neers work to­gether to agree on an out­come.

“But some­times en­gi­neers can’t reach res­o­lu­tion them­selves. That’s why Engi­neer­ing New Zealand has launched this pro­gramme to guide this process.”

To be el­i­gi­ble, en­gi­neers must have al­ready at­tempted to re­solve the dif­fer­ing as­sess­ments to­gether. They must also have at­tempted to agree on the key el­e­ments be­hind the dis­agree­ment. SEIS­MIC AS­SESS­MENT REC­ON­CIL­I­A­TION PRO­GRAMME IN­TRO­DUC­TION En­gi­neers carry out seis­mic as­sess­ments to es­tab­lish how a build­ing is likely to per­form in an earth­quake.

Seis­mic as­sess­ments re­quire sig­nif­i­cant pro­fes­sional judge­ment. This means that en­gi­neers can pro­duce dif­fer­ing as­sess­ments of the same build­ing.

Some dif­fer­ence of opin­ion be­tween en­gi­neers is to be ex­pected. How­ever, dif­fer­ence of opin­ion should be able to be ex­plained and un­der­stood. If an engi­neer or client be­comes aware that there are sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent seis­mic as­sess­ments for the same build­ing, Engi­neer­ing New Zealand rec­om­mends those en­gi­neers work to­gether to re­solve the is­sue.

How­ever, some­times in com­plex or his­tor­i­cal sit­u­a­tions, en­gi­neers can’t reach res­o­lu­tion them­selves. That’s why we’ve launched a pro­gramme to pro­vide a fa­cil­i­ta­tion frame­work, in­clud­ing ac­cess to lead­ing seis­mic as­sess­ment spe­cial­ists. WHAT THE PRO­GRAMME PRO­VIDES

Engi­neer­ing New Zealand has de­vel­oped a pro­gramme that pro­vides in­de­pen­dent fa­cil­i­ta­tion so that en­gi­neers can work to­gether to find agree­ment on a nar­rower as­sess­ment re­sult range, to pro­vide clar­ity for their clients.

This pro­gramme aims to help re­solve un­cer­tainty aris­ing from dif­fer­ing seis­mic as­sess­ments, in com­plex or his­tor­i­cal sit­u­a­tions. It is not in­tended to re­solve com­mer­cial dis­putes or dis­putes with a Ter­ri­to­rial Au­thor­ity.

The pro­gramme is vol­un­tary. It is in­tended to give en­gi­neers an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore ways of reach­ing gen­eral agree­ment on a seis­mic rat­ing, with the help of an im­par­tial ex­pert fa­cil­i­ta­tor, for the ben­e­fit of their clients. The fa­cil­i­ta­tor will not de­liver a de­ci­sion. ROLE OF THE FA­CIL­I­TA­TOR

Engi­neer­ing New Zealand has ac­cess to a pool of ex­pe­ri­enced fa­cil­i­ta­tors who have been specif­i­cally trained to de­liver this pro­gramme. All the fa­cil­i­ta­tors are ex­pe­ri­enced Char­tered Pro­fes­sional En­gi­neers with ex­ten­sive tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence in seis­mic as­sess­ments.

What the fa­cil­i­ta­tor IS – The role of the fa­cil­i­ta­tor is to guide the tech­ni­cal dis­cus­sions be­tween the en­gi­neers.

What the fa­cil­i­ta­tor is NOT – The fa­cil­i­ta­tor will not carry out their own com­pre­hen­sive as­sess­ment or pro­vide a peer re­view.

The fa­cil­i­ta­tor will not state an opin­ion, pro­vide a de­ter­mi­na­tion or make any rec­om­men­da­tions (bind­ing or non- bind­ing) at the com­ple­tion of the fa­cil­i­ta­tion meet­ing.

The only sit­u­a­tion where the fa­cil­i­ta­tor would make rec­om­men­da­tions is be­fore the fa­cil­i­ta­tion meet­ing, if:

• The fa­cil­i­ta­tor iden­ti­fies sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal is­sues with one or all the engi­neer­ing as­sess­ments.

• The fa­cil­i­ta­tor be­lieves res­o­lu­tion could be bet­ter achieved through a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. STEPS

The steps in­volved in the fa­cil­i­ta­tion process may vary de­pend­ing on the cir­cum­stances.

SEIS­MIC AS­SESS­MENTS RE­QUIRE SIG­NIF­I­CANT PRO­FES­SIONAL JUDGE­MENT. THIS MEANS THAT DIF­FER­ENT EN­GI­NEERS CAN PRO­DUCE DIF­FER­ING AS­SESS­MENTS OF THE SAME BUILD­ING. BUT IT’S BALL­PARK.” I MPORTANT THEY ARE I N THE SAME

How­ever, the process will have the fol­low­ing steps:

1. Com­plete the ap­pli­ca­tion and we’ll as­sess it to en­sure that it meets all the rel­e­vant cri­te­ria (out­lined be­low).

2. A fa­cil­i­ta­tor will be as­signed to your case and pro­vided with all the rel­e­vant doc­u­men­ta­tion. The fa­cil­i­ta­tor will con­tact the en­gi­neers and or­gan­ise a time for the fa­cil­i­ta­tion meet­ing to take place. This will gen­er­ally take place within one month of your ap­pli­ca­tion be­ing sub­mit­ted.

3. At the com­ple­tion of the meet­ing, the re­sult will be ei­ther: a. Agree­ment – The en­gi­neers will pro­vide a joint writ­ten state­ment of agreed seis­mic rat­ing for con­sul­ta­tion with the en­gi­neers’ clients prior to the agree­ments be­ing signed by the en­gi­neers, or b. No agree­ment – The en­gi­neers will pro­vide a joint writ­ten state­ment cov­er­ing points of dis­agree­ment, rea­sons agree­ment could not be reached, and their rec­om­men­da­tions for next steps. EL­I­GI­BIL­ITY

Usu­ally en­gi­neers are able to meet and reach agree­ment on any points of dif­fer­ence in a seis­mic as­sess­ment with­out in­de­pen­dent fa­cil­i­ta­tion. Prior to ac­cep­tance into the pro­gramme, the en­gi­neers must have: 1. at­tempted to re­solve the dif­fer­ing as­sess­ments by meet­ing to dis­cuss their find­ings and jus­ti­fi­ca­tions; 2. agreed on the key el­e­ments where dis­agree­ment ex­ists.

Ac­cep­tance into the pro­gramme will only be achieved where points 1 and 2 have been com­pleted and en­gi­neers have been un­able to reach an agreed po­si­tion. COSTS

The costs of the engi­neer’s time will be paid by their re­spec­tive client.

The fa­cil­i­ta­tion- re­lated costs will be paid for as agreed by the par­ties prior to the process be­gin­ning. The costs for the fa­cil­i­ta­tion will de­pend on the vol­ume of ma­te­rial to be re­viewed and the size and com­plex­ity of the build­ing to be re­viewed, but can be ex­pected to be any­where from $5,000 and above.

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