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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gib board damage - best practice for assessment, repairs, and replacement

With an increasing number of complaints about the quality of Fletchers/EQR repair work, having an understanding of what constitutes good practice and appropriate repairs is a good form of self help (and self defence).

Winstone Wallboards, manufacturers of Gib Board, have a web page that provides a range of printed articles, reports and booklets covering the assessment and repair or replacement of damaged wall board. Of particular importance is the information on how Gib Board provides internal strength to a house, and how the correct (or incorrect) treatment of damaged wall board affects the structural integrity of a house.

If you read only one item then this is the one to read: Repairing Earthquake Damaged Linings, an article that originally appeared in Build magazine. The two page article can be downloaded from here.

The article spells out clearly why the very careful checking of wallboard damage is needed, what hidden damage there may be, the best practice methods for checking the extent of the damage that has occurred, appropriate fixes, and the inevitable problems that will result from simple fixes.

All the articles etc. can be downloaded from here. 

From the web page:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Recent seismic activity - CERA programme on Maori TV.

Maori TV is running a 29 minute programme this Saturday and Sunday where a panel discuss the earthquakes so far experienced, and what the expectations are for the future.

The programme, produced by CTV for CERA, will start at 1.31 pm on both days.

The CERA website (here) has the following information about the programme:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saving plants in the Red zones

Tania Boerlage, who lives at Cust, is a plant lover setting up a group to save plants from abandoned properties.

The following is from an e-mail from Tania:
Hi,
My name is Tania and I live near Cust, (north west of Christchurch).
I am a plant lover and having travelled around Christchurch, I have seen lots of properties where people have left their homes and their plants behind. The plants are now getting strangled by grasses and weeds.
I am slowly setting up a group to save the younger plants from properties in the red zone.
If you care for your plants but can't take them with you and would like some of them saved then please can you call me (if you are OK with me taking some of the younger ones) to re-home them with young couples and others families who are starting again?
My phone number is:
03 3125627 or 0278205151
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cooperative Sections - affordable sections meeting

Cooperative Sections is a project to identify areas where affordable land is available and work co-operatively to purchase and develop land for housing.

From their website:
The solution - Co-operate with a like-minded group of people to get a section at a 30% discount to typical current market prices.  This both gives you an affordable section and additional equity equal to the difference between the cost of the section and the market price of equivalent sections. While the development will be co-operative, the intended outcome is  that you will have an individual title to a section in the same way you would get from the other developments available in Christchurch
A public meeting is to be held at 6.00pm on Thursday the 19th of January to discuss progress so far and the areas where where suitable land has been identified. The venue is the Sydenham Room, South Library, 66 Colombo Street (Beckenham, by the Heathcote River).

There is more information here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission - Hotel Grand Chancellor

The Earthquake Royal Commission resumed hearings today with statements from witnesses regarding the Grand Chancellor Hotel.

Today's transcripts are available from the Commission's document library (here) for the following:
  • Seismic Performance of the Hotel Grand Chancellor : Findings and Recommendations - Presentation by Professor Stefano Pampanin
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor hearing: Document prepared for the hearing, by Commissioner Richard Fenwick
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor: Presentation to the Royal Commission, Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor: Report on the Structural Performance of the Hotel Grand Chancellor in the Earthquake of 22 February 2011, Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor hearing - Summary for the hearing
The last document listed is a summary of the evidence being presented, and is the best place to start (here).

The following is an extract from the Summary for the hearing:
The Commission will hear evidence that indicates that the building as designed and permitted, did not comply with the standards that were in force in 1985 -1988. In particular, in relation to the D5-6 shear wall slenderness ratio and the degree of reinforcement confinement of that wall.
Evidence will be given that indicates that this may have been as a result of the need to re-design the building so that it did not encroach the right-of-way and an omission to re-calculate any resulting change in the seismic load.
The Council, at the time of permitting the plans, relied on a designer certificate signed by a principal of the structural engineering firm that designed the building.
In my submission, this hearing will highlight important issues in the design and permitting of high rise buildings, particularly those that are irregular structures.
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Fletchers/EQR and repair issues

In the Letters section of today's Press Wendy Gilchrist, a member of the CERA Community Forum, draws attention to problems with the way in which Fletcher's is carrying out it's repair responsibilities.

Headed Fletchers worrying us, comment is made on the shoddy work reported in the Press on the 11th of January. In addition she raises the issues of Fletchers managing repairs over the cap rather than passing them on to insurance companies, and their refusal to allow the installation of extra insulation during repairs.

None of this is new, and there have been numerous complaints of sub-standard work as well as complaints of "standover tactics" from contractors (Press, 23rd August 2011). What is new is the level at which these problems are being discussed.

The Community Forum is a body of people appointed by Gerry Brownlee to provide him with information and advice on earthquake matters.  So, when Wendy Gilchrist says "The Forum is expecting a response to these concerns." it may signal that finally there will be proper accountability.
 
Information about the Community Forum is available on the CERA web site here.
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