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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Post 22 February house safety observations

In the ten days after the 22 February earthquake, structural observations were made of 75,000 houses to determine of they should be given green, yellow or red stickers. Under the auspices of BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand) engineers visited all red stickered houses to confirm the initial assessment, or issue an amended one**.

As part of this process, buildings were assessed to determine the extent to which different types of buildings coped with the earthquake, and look for patterns of success and failure. Based on this a preliminary report was produced, in bullet point form. An overview of the process, and link to download the preliminary report, can be found here.

Going through the report other uses can be found for it, such as a check list for buying an existing house, designing a new one, or deciding on some types of repairs.

** One of the criticisms of the response to the September earthquake was that people had been required to leave their homes with nowhere to go, and sometimes remaining had been an option. The stated purpose of this February exercise was to determine if the house, or part of it, was still safe for occupation. A lesson learnt.

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