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Construction Systems to Reduce Seismic Impacts on Underground Services

Dimension Value
  • Discipline
  • Engineering Sciences
    • Other
  • Project Working Hours
  • Not Specified
  • Research Study Hybrid Value Creation
  • Not Specified
  • Funding Institutions
  • National governmental Funding
    • Other
  • Other Funding Institutions
  • Ministry of Science and Innovation (New Zealand)
  • Supportprogram
  • Public Good Science Fund

Construction Systems to Reduce Seismic Impacts on Underground Services ()

New Zealand is a known earthquake-risk country and as a result its building codes are amongst the world’s best. Its modern (post-1980) buildings are unlikely to collapse in even the strongest earthquake shaking and so are expected to cause relatively few casualties. There is need for improvement however. Although modern building designs have largely achieved the legislated aim of ensuring life safety they, contrary to public expectation, are not required to control damage, and hence ensure neither the suitability of buildings for continued occupancy nor economical repair cost. Many buildings, along with essential services, will be so badly damaged in a large earthquake as to be unusable. For this reason New Zealand’s cities could be rendered non-functional by earthquake damage to buildings, their contents, and to infrastructure.Wellington is particularly vulnerable. Damage to contents of commercial and industrial buildings could put large numbers of people out of work for days to weeks, and loss of services, especially water, could make large areas uninhabitable for weeks to months.Our aim is to minimise post-earthquake trauma and economic impact for people in urban areas by minimising damage to buildings, contents, and infrastructure. We have three objectives that together could greatly reduce the trauma of, for example, a Wellington fault earthquake, through reductions of $100's of millions in losses and many 1000's fewer people requiring evacuation. Our objectives are:1. to establish and verify levels of performance, design methods and regulations that will minimise earthquake damage to building components, contents, and services,2. to develop and verify new low-cost seismic-isolation technologies that will deliver the required levels of performance for buildings, their contents, and equipment, and3. to model the functioning of infrastructure networks damaged by earthquakes and use the model to reduce the restoration times.Our research will lead to improved economic performance of the built environment through improvements to regulations, construction methods, protective technologies, and infrastructure management. Our primary focus is design for reduced damage in large earthquakes, leading to economic benefits (minimised losses) and reduced social disruption. Increased trade and exports will be achieved by commercialization of our new isolation technologies.Although the Wellington area is clearly a critical target for our work the results will have application throughout New Zealand and abroad. Implementation will be assured because our research team includes members with a history of achievement in innovation, at high levels in regulatory systems for construction, and in the commercialization of New Zealand’s expertise in the design and manufacture of seismic protection systems.

This project was described byAdmin Istrator (28. June 2011 - 9:46)
This project was last edited by Sanja Tumbas (1. July 2012 - 20:26)

Further information

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