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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Earthquake Royal Commission - four technical reports on the PGC, Forsyth Barr, and Hotel Grand Chancellor buildings

From the Royal Commission's website:
Today the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission has received from the Department of Building and Housing three consultants’ reports containing the results of the Department’s technical investigation into the PGC, Forsyth Barr and Hotel Grand Chancellor buildings.
The Commission has also received a report about all three buildings from the Department's independent expert panel. All four reports can be accessed via the technical reports section of the Commission’s website (here).
The four reports are:
  • Investigation into the Collapse of the Forsyth Barr Building Stairs on 22nd February 2011 by Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner
  • Report on the Structural Performance of the Hotel Grand Chancellor in the Earthquake of 22 February 2011 by Dunning Thornton Consultants
  • Investigation into the Collapse of the Pyne Gould Corporation Building on 22nd February 2011 by Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner
  • Structural Performance of Christchurch CBD Buildings in the 22 February 2011 Aftershock Stage 1 Expert Panel Report Covering Pyne Gould Corporation Building, Hotel Grand Chancellor Building, Forsyth Barr Building, 30 September 2011
The quickest route to the reports is to go direct to the Department of Building and Housing's website here.

The main findings of the reports are:
    • Strong ground shaking and exceptionally high vertical accelerations were among the principal reasons that Christchurch's PGC, Forsyth Barr and Hotel Grand Chancellor buildings failed in the aftershock of 22 February 2011.
    • At the time the PGC, Forsyth Barr and Hotel Grand Chancellor buildings were built, design requirements were not as rigorous as they are now.
    • In the case of the PGC building, where there was tragic loss of life, the shaking was much more intense than the building was designed for in 1963 and the building lacked resilience and the ability to move and respond without losing strength.
The Earthquake Royal Commission has said, in relation to these reports:
While the Commission expects the results of the DBH technical investigation will be of significant assistance, we will seek own advice and form our own views. Eminent structural engineer Mr William T. Holmes from San Francisco will review the DBH reports for the Commission.
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Assessing California Earthquake Forecasts

Earthquake prediction or forecasting is often looked upon as being akin to astrology, and recent events around here would suggest that is a good analogy.

Many countries undertake scientific work to investigate earthquake forecasting, and rigorous testing is being carried out as well. The Southern California Earthquake Center organised a competition where teams of scientists were invited to forecast the probability of an earthquake of magnitude 4.95 or higher, during the period 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2010, over an area encompassing California and adjacent areas.

Once the time period was up forecasts were compared with actual events and it was found that some teams had had some success in forecasting earthquakes. These forecasts were not like bus timetables giving an exact place and time, they were much more generalised. A report on the study and the results are on sciencedaily.com here.

The Southern California Earthquake Center website is here.
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Avonside Girls High - demolition of the main block

Demolition of the main block at AGHS is scheduled to start today.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Central City Plan - council hearings

From the council's website here:
About 450 organisations and individuals asked to have their comments heard by Council. These hearings begin next Monday 3 October and will run for seven days.
The Central City Plan Team is currently working on analysing the comments in preparation for these hearings and Council’s subsequent deliberations.
The hearings will be held:
    • Monday 3 October, Balmerino Room, Riccarton Park, 9.30am to 8pm
    • Tuesday, 4 October, Balmerino Room, Riccarton Park, 9am to 8pm
    • Wednesday, 5 October, Balmerino Room, Riccarton Park, 9am to 8pm
    • Thursday, 6 October, Balmerino Room. Riccarton Park, 9am to 6pm
    • Friday, 7 October, Balmerino Room, Riccarton Park, 9am to 8pm
    • Saturday, 8 October, Boardroom, Beckenham Service Centre, 9.30am to 5pm
    • Monday, 10 October, Boardroom, Beckenham Service Centre, 9am to 8pm
Everyone is welcome to attend the hearings, however, please note there is a limited public area at Beckenham.

EQC, Fletchers and pre-existing damage

EQC have added to their FAQ a new piece on repairs and pre-existing damage.

Basically, if Fletcher/EQR are undertaking a repair and discover damage not covered by the Earthquake Commission Act (i.e. pre-existing damage), they may choose to cash settle part or all of the claim. This will be a tricky area to have certainty over. The EQC view is:
A referral for repair to Fletcher EQR is not a final decision by EQC to repair the relevant property. Where damage comes to light during the Fletcher EQR process that is not insured nunder the Earthquake Commission Act 1993, EQC may cash settle part or all of the claim; and EQC will only make a final decision to reinstate any part of a property with damage or issues ot covered under the EQC Act when it commences or continues to repair the relevant part of the property with full knowledge of the particular damage or issues not insured under the EQC Act.
You can find this part of the FAQ here.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

AMI - Red Zone assessments

AMI Red Zone assessments are due to be completed by the end of this month. From AMI's website (here)
AMI is on track to complete all assessments by end of September of our customers’ houses in the residential red zone announced 23 June, and most of those announced 18 August. Any red zone customers more recently advised their damage exceeds EQC’s maximum level of cover and are now ‘over cap’ are also being prioritised. 
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Monday, September 26, 2011

CERA geotech maps for Brooklands and Spencerville

CERA have released maps/aerial photographs of land, waste water, and housing damage in Brooklands and Spencerville. Unfortunately there is no explanatory text with them.

In PDF format here, the maps show:
  • liquefaction areas
  • waste water network damage
  • aggregated building damage map using data from EQC and private insurance companies (after September 4, 2010)
  • aggregated building damage map using data from EQC and private insurance companies (after February 22, 2011)
  • ground surface elevation as at March 2011
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Holy Trinity Avonside has been demolished

Holy Trinity Avonside has been demolished. Work started at the beginning of the week and the bulk of it completed by yesterday. There are only small amounts to be broken down, the rubble sorting completed, and then removed.

The first photographs show demolition underway on Tuesday the 20th. The last two are how the grounds looked on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, September 20th.



 




Saturday, September 24th.