Seismic Performance of Diaphragms of Buildings – Determining the Lateral Earthquake Forces for Design of Diaphragms

This report outlines the findings of two independent studies by PTL Structural Consultants (PTL) and Holmes Consulting LP
(HCLP) which have validated the use of an earthquake induced lateral force distribution, develop by Dr D.
Gardiner (at University of Canterbury). The method for determining the lateral force distribution for
designing the diaphragms of buildings is known as “the pseudo-Equivalent Static Analysis (pESA)”.

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Lightly Reinforced Concrete Walls

Principal Investigator Dr R Henry, University of Auckland

After the Canterbury Earthquakes the Royal Commission and SESOC raised issues relating to the design of lightly reinforced and precast concrete walls. This research project looked to address and give guidance on the following:

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Quake Centre Partners’ Annual Workshop 2017


The 2017 Partner workshop was held at Opus in Christchurch on Tuesday 5 December. There were 22 presentations giving an overview of the work undertaken throughout the year. The presentation was followed up by a poster session allowing participants the opportunity to ask in-depth questions of the project managers and researchers. The posters can be downloaded below.

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Reconstructing Christchurch


International experts Dr. Michel Bruneau, Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Buffalo and Dr. Greg MacRae, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Natural resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury have collaborated on an extensive report on the factors underpinning  decisions  made in the rebuild of Christchurch after the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010-2011. It is based on interviews with structural designers of up to 60% of the buildings design to date in the rebuild.

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Review of New Zealand Pipe Inspection Manual

The New ZeaNZPIMland Pipe Inspection Manual (NZPIM) is a document that is extensively used by the water industry to assess the condition of waste and storm water pipes. It was last updated in 2006. Since that time, there have been a large number of technical advances. In addition, the NZ$100 million spent on inspecting the Christchurch 3 waters network after the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence provided a number of lessons that need to be captured in an update. As part of the Evidenced-based Decision Making for 3 Waters Networks project, the Quake Centre with the asistance of EQC engaged ProjectMax  to undertake a full review and scope of the required changes to the NZPIM. This exercise has now been completed and the report is out for comment across the water sector.

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Compilation and analysis of a New Zealand Inventory of Dams

dams-basic image_cropped

Water-retaining dams form a vital part of New Zealand’s critical infrastructure, providing electricity, potable water and irrigation resources to a large proportion of the country. The damage or failure of these structures would incur a significant potential financial loss to the country; not only from the physical repair or rebuild cost, but also the potential for extended outages in power generation and/or municipal water services.

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Assessing the risks associated with internal erosion phenomena in aging embankment dams: a New Zealand perspective

2016-08-18 13.57.35Earth embankment dams form a vital part of New Zealand’s hydropower, agricultural, and water supply infrastructure. The challenges faced in the management of aging embankment dams are compounded by factors specific to New Zealand, including large variability in soil types and the highly tectonic environment in which the dams are located. Internal erosion, triggered by both seismic and non-seismic events, is considered one of the primary risks to New Zealand embankment dams. This study considers the applicability of existing empirical methods to assess the potential for internal erosion and highlights significant shortcomings in the applicability of existing screening methods used to assess the potential for internal erosion in New Zealand soils.

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Low Damage Partition Walls


Dry wall partitions are vulnerable to seismic damage even in relatively minor earthquakes. This paper outlines a detail that provides a low damage solution that will protect partitions reasonably severe earthquakes. This cost and time associated with construction is no more than current practices.

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