Thursday, September 25, 2014

Do we need a more intelligent approach to earthquake strengthening?

Thanks to Richard Bentley (CEO, Centre for Advanced Engineering) for highlighting some issues around the proposed Earthquake Strengthening Bill. Bentley is rightly asking some questions about how we prioritise particular buildings on grounds like location, occupancy and building type.

It has been my view that we definitely need to prioritise different areas of the country and to some extent different building types but Bentley seems to be going further to saying that we need some strong exception based rules that would potentially exempt thousands of buildings from strengthening around the country.

I have been very sceptical about the workability of this Bill on cost grounds so think Bentley is essentially offering us a way forward. How you would classify building types would make a policy analyst's head spin but is possibly doable if the Government permits Councils to retain their ability to write local policies.

Photo courtesy of The Otago Daily Times

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