Further tests have shown that University of Otago's arts
building is not earthquake-prone, as was previously thought.
The new earthquake strength assessment for the building comes
as property services director Barry MacKay said ''far fewer''
buildings at the university had been found to be
earthquake-prone than anticipated.
The latest tests on the arts building put it at 45% of new
building standard (NBS) for earthquake strength, meaning it
was not earthquake-prone, which is below 34% of NBS, Mr
The latest assessment is the third earthquake strength rating
for the building after an initial assessment of 50% of NBS
was downgraded to 29% of NBS.
Following the second test, the university was considering
either demolishing or carrying out major repairs to the
The latest result for the building constructed in 1969 comes
after boreholes were dug in the vicinity of the building to
gain more certainty about the underlying geology, Mr MacKay
''The results of the borehole tests enabled the building's
seismic performance to be confirmed at 45% NBS and,
therefore, the building is not earthquake-prone. A decision
is yet to be made on the long-term future of the building,''
The university had completed tranche five of its earthquake
assessment programme and two small, former residential,
properties were found to be earthquake-prone. Strengthening
work on those properties was planned over the next two years.
''It is worthwhile noting that far fewer buildings have so
far been found to be earthquake-prone than originally
Projects under way with a seismic strengthening component
included work on Aquinas College, Toroa College, Property
Services, St David 2, Marine Science, Science 1 and
University of Otago's Wellington campus. A programme of
chimney strengthening or removal was also under way across
the Dunedin campus, Mr MacKay said.
Tranche four of its earthquake assessment programme was yet
to be completed and tranches six and seven were yet to get
under way. Tranche seven was scheduled to be completed before
The university announced in March last year it had committed
$50 million for earthquake assessments and strengthening work
between 2012 and 2019.