Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission – Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha

Those who lost relatives and friends in the 22 February earthquake can be assured that there will be a very thorough inquiry into the failure of buildings that resulted in loss of life.
Chair, Justice Mark Cooper

New Building Technologies Hearing

In the week beginning 12 March 2012 the Commission conducted a public hearing focusing on the wide range of new building technologies relevant to the rebuild of Christchurch's Central Business District (CBD) and potentially other New Zealand CBDs.

This hearing was a platform for a constructive debate about building design philosophies, for example, 'life safety' versus 'building survivability' and the associated economic impacts. It also discussed new building technologies, some of which were already being implemented in New Zealand, and others which were still emerging. 

Presenters included academics, senior practising engineers and professional engineering organisations.


Date Time Topic Presenter
12 March 10am Opening Statement Stephen Mills QC, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  10.05am Performance-based earthquake engineering Dr Rajesh Dhakel, University of Canterbury
  11.05am  Comment on Dr Dhakal's presentation Dr Richard Sharpe, Beca
  11.30am BREAK  
  11.45am Comment on Dr Dhakal's presentation (continued) Dr Sharpe
  12.10pm  Displacement-based design  Professor Nigel Priestley
  1.05pm LUNCH  
  2pm  Comment on Professor Priestley's presentation Didier Pettinga, Holmes Consulting Group
  2.45pm  Base Isolation Trevor Kelly, Holmes Consulting Group
  3.30pm BREAK


  3.55pm The costs of base isolation 

Megan Devine, Robinson Seismic


 Grant Wilkinson, Ruamoko Solutions

  4.45pm Panel discussion
  • Dr Dhakal
  • Dr Sharpe
  • Professor Priestley
  • Mr Pettinga
  • Mr Kelly
  • Ms Devine
  • Mr Wilkinson
13 March 9.30am  The new building technologies Dr Stefano Pampanin, University of Canterbury 
  10.25am  Comment on Dr Pampanin's presentation  Gary Haverland, Structex
  11.05am  New technologies in reinforced concrete  Professor Des Bull, University of Canterbury
  11.30am  BREAK   
  11.45am  New technologies in reinforced concrete (continued) Professor Bull
  12.15pm Comment on Dr Bull's presentation John Hare, Holmes Consulting Group
  12.40pm  New technologies in steel buildings Dr Charles Clifton, University of Auckland
  1pm LUNCH  
  2pm New technologies in steel buildings (continued) Dr Clifton
  2.15pm BREAK  
  3pm  Comment on Dr Clifton's presentation  Sean Gledhill, Aurecon Group
  3.40pm New technologies in timber buildings

Professor Andy Buchanan, University of Canterbury

  4.25pm New technologies in timber buildings (continued)
  • Mark Batchelar, MLB Consulting Engineers
  • John Reelick, Tuakau Timber Treatment 
  •   4.55pm Comment on presentations by Professor Buchanan, Batchelar and Reelick Carl Devereux, Aurecon Group
      5.20pm HEARING ADJOURNED  
    14 March  9.30am  The architectural perspective  Associate Professor Andrew Charleson, Victoria University
      10.35am Comment on Professor Charleson's presentation Trevor Watt, New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA)
      11.15am Research and design in structural timber Professor Pierre Quenneville, University of Auckland
      11.35am BREAK  
      11.50am Research and design in structural timber (continued)

    Professor Quenneville

      12.10pm New technologies panel discussion
    • Dr Pampanin
    • John Hare, Structural Engineering Society New Zealand (SESOC)
    • Rob Jury, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE)
    • Professor Bull
    • Dr Clifton
    • Professor Buchanan
    • Associate Professor Charleson
    • Mr Watt
    • John Marshall, Precast New Zealand
    • Pieter Burghout, Construction Industry Council (CIC)
    • Professor Quenneville, University of Auckland
      1pm LUNCH  
      2pm New technologies panel discussion (continued)  
      2.55pm Professional and regulatory implementation panel discussion
    • Peter Thorby, Manager Building Standards Group, Department of Building and Housing (DBH) 
    • Dave Kelly, Deputy Chief Executive, Building Quality, Department of Building Housing (DBH)
    • Mr Hare, SESOC
    • Mr Jury, NZSEE
    • Nicki Crauford, IPENZ
      3.30pm BREAK  
      3.45pm Professional and regulatory implementation (continued)  
      4.55pm END OF HEARING  


    Read submissions received on this topic

    Related Reports/Papers

    Base Isolation and Damage-Resistant Technologies for Improved Seismic Performance of Buildings, dated August 2011, Professors  Andrew Buchanan, Des Bull, Rajesh P Dhakal, Gregory MacRae and Stefano Pampanin.

    Structural Design for Earthquake Resistance: Past, Present and Future, dated September 2011, Professor Rajesh Dhakal.

    A Numerical Study of Seismic Behaviour of Timber Shear Walls With Slip-friction Connectors, dated March 2011, Wei Yuen Loo, Pierre Quenneville and Nawawi Chow