En­gi­neers ap­plaud suc­cess of se­cur­ing ini­tia­tive

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

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?”

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