Engineers applaud success of securing initiative
ENGINEERS are congratulating Wellington region building owners and territorial authorities on securing facades that pose an earthquake risk.
Engineering New Zealand Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene says securing this vulnerable masonry has increased Wellington and Lower Hutt’s resilience and has the potential to save lives.
“Resilience is more than a concept: it has a tangible outcome when the unpredictable hits. We need to value resilience more, and to create incentives that build it, like this securing initiative.
“Wellington and Hutt City Councils deserve applause for making sure building owners carried out this important public safety work, in the wake of the increased risk of aftershocks from the Kaikōura earthquake. We also appreciate the Government’s role in helping fund this work, which was championed by engineers.
“Our technical groups the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), Structural Engineering Society (SESOC) and the New Zealand Geotechnical Society (NZGS) came together to advocate for this work in the wake of the November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.”
Freeman-Greene says New Zealand needs an ongoing conversation about what earthquake-related risks we are prepared to tolerate.
“This includes weighing the different risks in provincial centres, where earthquake strengthening can have a huge economic impact. Engineering New Zealand is currently consulting on more practical approaches to this problem.
“We also want to start a public conversation on what we’re designing buildings for – is it enough just to allow people to evacuate or should we be making buildings that have a life beyond a moderate earthquake?”