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14/10/2011 — General
Detailed early report on Canterbury Earthquake inquiry released

Recommendations in the interim report from the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission of Inquiry will support and assist the rebuild of Christchurch.

In welcoming the report Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said recommendations in the report cover such matters as soil analysis and appropriate foundation design, changes to some structural design standards and construction practices, and use of new building technologies.

“The Department of Building and Housing is already working on aspects of these recommendations. Work on foundation system design is underway, the Department has established an Engineering Advisory Group and is working with the sector on aspects of design standards which include new building technologies and stair design.” The Minister said.

“I have instructed the Department to lead work on other areas identified by the Commission including amendments to building standards which will further improve the performance of commercial buildings in severe earthquakes.”

The report also contained conclusions and recommendations which “would benefit the country as a whole.”

The Royal Commission wants to explore options for improving the alignment between the science of seismicity and the way buildings are designed to respond in earthquakes.

Williamson said it has also made recommendations for securing and strengthening un-reinforced masonry buildings.

“The Department is already working with GNS Science and engineers on seismicity issues and I have asked the Department to progress work on the recommendations made in respect of unreinforced masonry buildings.

“I also expect to see building owners taking action on the recommendations for improving the performance of these buildings.”

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Christchurch’s once magnificent Cathedral.