A further four University of Otago buildings have been found
to be prone to damage in the event of a major earthquake.
The latest buildings assessed as being earthquake-prone, as
defined in the Building Act 2004, were the arts building, the
Property Services building and the gymnasium and priory
buildings at Aquinas College.
The Scott building at the Dunedin School of Medicine had also
earlier been identified earthquake-prone - which means less
than 34% of new building standard (NBS) for earthquake
strength - and had yet to be strengthened.
Otago University property services director Barry MacKay said
in a statement that each of the buildings - including the
Scott building - were being assessed by engineers and plans
for strengthening work were being prepared. The result of the
arts building assessment came as a surprise after a previous
assessment identified the building as being 50% of NBS.
''Given the importance of this building and the problems with
spalling concrete, it was decided to computer model its
seismic strength. This produced a seismic assessment of 28%
A peer-review of the second assessment was under way, he
None of the buildings would be evacuated, as the university's
seismic strengthening policy - which took effect last October
- stated that only buildings found to be less than 15% of NBS
had to be vacated.
The policy also stated that all buildings found to be less
than 34% of NBS would be prioritised for strengthening to
''at least 67% NBS''.
Mr MacKay said strengthening of the gymnasium and priory
buildings at Aquinas would probably be carried out over the
summer holiday period later this year.
The latest assessment results come after the university last
March unveiled a $50 million earthquake-strengthening
programme - to be completed by 2019.
This programme included ''detailed'' earthquake assessments
of the university's buildings.
Mr MacKay said 78 buildings out of a total of 94 had been
assessed so far and, of those, seven had been rated as
earthquake-prone. Two of those buildings had already been
strengthened - the west wing of Cumberland College last year
and Linton House at Carrington College over the recent
Christmas holiday period.
Strengthening at Cumberland cost $53,000 and the cost of work
at Linton House was yet to be finalised but was expected to
be a similar figure.
About $735,000 out of a total budget of $1.5 million had been
spent on the ''seismic assessment programme'' to date.