Existing buildings are often vulnerable to damage in earthquakes, because when they were designed, they did not have the benefit of the knowledge we now have and is inherent in our current Standards. This is particularly true of heritage buildings and in New Zealand our legislation has requirements with respect of high-risk buildings (which we term Earthquake-Prone Buildings) that require assessment and strengthening works to be undertaken within prescribed timeframes. However, outside of these requirements many building owners choose to undertake assessment and strengthening of their buildings to proactively manage their risks, both seismic and commercial.

Increasingly, building owners are becoming aware of the large carbon emissions that result from demolishing an existing building to build back new. In this context, the greenest building is the one that already exists and enabling the adaptive re-use of existing building is becoming increasingly desirable. For these types of projects, an in-depth understanding of the vulnerabilities of the building and working closely with the wider design team to develop a sympathetic strengthening scheme is vital to achieving the overall functional goals of the project. 

Services with Seismic Engineering that we provide include:

  • Initial Seismic Assessment

  • Detailed Seismic Assessment

  • Strengthening Design

  • Alteration and Addition

  • Peer review

  • Post-earthquake Inspection

  • Insurance Assistance

  • Seismic risk management

  • Non-structural elements

Old Choral Hall

Seismic assessment of this heritage listed building, constructed in 1872, using SLaMA methods. Development of a sympathetic conceptual strengthening scheme to maximise the use of the existing structure and allow adaptive re-use of the structure as a modern learning facility.

Wellington Railway Station

Seismic assessment of this heritage listed 6-storey 1930s masonry building with concrete encased riveted steel frames using non-linear time history analysis. Develop strengthening solutions to increase the displacement capacity and bring the building above the earthquake prone threshold.   Image from www.engineeringnz.org

The International

Seismic assessment, strengthening and addition of two stories to existing multi-storey commercial building to facilitate adaptive re-use as a residential apartment building.