Design, construction and seismic performance of non-structural elements in New Zealand (2020)
The performance of buildings in recent New Zealand earthquakes (Canterbury, Seddon and Kaikōura), delivered stark lessons on seismic resilience. Most of our buildings, with a few notable exceptions, performed as our Codes intended them to, that is, to safeguard people from injury. Many buildings only suffered minor structural damage but were unable to be reused and occupied for significant periods of time due to the damage and failure of non-structural elements. This resulted in substantial economic losses and major disruptions to our businesses and communities. Research has attributed the damage to poor overall design coordination, inadequate or lack of seismic restraints for non structural elements and insufficient clearances between building components to cater for the interaction of non structural elements under seismic actions. Investigations have found a clear connection between the poor performance of non-structural elements and the issues causing pain in the industry (procurement methods, risk aversion, the lack of clear understanding of design and inspection responsibility and the need for better alignment of the design codes to enable a consistent integrated design approach). The challenge to improve the seismic performance of non structural elements in New Zealand is a complex one that cuts across a diverse construction industry. Adopting the key steps as recommended in this paper is expected to have significant co-benefits to the New Zealand construction industry, with improvements in productivity alongside reductions in costs and waste, as the rework which plagues the industry decreases.
CitationStanway J, Sullivan T, Dhakal R (2020). Design, construction and seismic performance of non-structural elements in New Zealand. Hawaii: 2020 SEAOC Convention. 09/09/2020-12/09/2020.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research40 - Engineering::4005 - Civil engineering::400506 - Earthquake engineering
40 - Engineering::4005 - Civil engineering
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