Almost exactly two years ago, shaking in the middle of the night resulted in the collapse of precast double tee beams on the first and second floors of the Statistics House in Wellington. Only the fortunate timing of the Kaikoura earthquake spared dozens of lives. Across Wellington midrise buildings experienced damage to precast floor systems, ranging from significant to minor cracking. The following two years have seen significant efforts by QuakeCoRE researchers, in collaboration with industry leaders, to develop seismic assessment guidelines for buildings with precast floors, reflecting the lessons learned from the performance during the Kaikoura and Canterbury Earthquakes. Now with the eminent release of these new assessment guidelines, there is an urgent need for retrofit solutions for precast floors.
Good news – BRANZ, with further support from EQC and ConcreteNZ, have recently funded a three-year $1.2M project to develop and validate retrofit solutions for precast floors. The project forms a coalition of researchers and engineering practitioners to develop solutions and provide clear and frequent communication to the building industry. Project includes QuakeCoRE researchers and industry affiliates, including Ken Elwood (PI), Rick Henry, Des Bull, Angela Liu, Lucas Hogan, Tim Sullivan, Enrique del Rey Castillo, and Nicholas Brooke. The programme of work directly supports research under Flagship 3 to Address Earthquake-Vulnerable Buildings.