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


                                                                                                                        6 October 2011

New Technologies Hearing Scheduled by Quakes Royal Commission

In the week commencing 7 February 2012 the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission will conduct a public hearing about new building technologies which improve the seismic performance of buildings.

At the hearing the Commission will consider technical advice received from academics from the University of Canterbury’s Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering. The advice takes the form of the report ‘Base Isolation and Damage-Resistant Technologies for Improved Seismic Performance of Buildings’. The report was prepared at the request of the Commission by Professor Andrew Buchanan, Holcim Adjunct Professor Des Bull, Associate Professor Greg MacRae, Associate Professor Rajesh Dhakal, Dr Alessandro Palermo and Associate Professor Stefano Pampanin. It is available on the Commission’s website.

The report describes the current approach to seismic design together with a number of alternative technologies that can be used to improve seismic performance including base isolation, precast structural seismic systems (PRESSS) and non-tearing floor systems.

The report relates to a number of issues the Commission is required to consider including:

  • Development of technical expertise in the design and construction of seismic-resistant buildings
  • Change of New Zealand design standards and codes of practice
  • Legal and best-practice requirements for the design of buildings
  • Application of technical knowledge in setting legislative and regulatory requirements

Submissions on matters raised in the report are due by 5pm 16 December 2011.

The hearings will be held at St Teresa’s Church Hall on the corner of Puriri Street and Riccarton Road in Riccarton, Christchurch.


About the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Hearings

As part of its ongoing inquiry, the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission will periodically hold hearings on issues that arise under the terms of reference, starting at 1 pm on Monday 17 October 2011 on the topic of seismicity.

A hearings schedule is published on the Commission’s website. The Commission will shortly provide information about other hearings to be held in November, December and January.

The hearings will be live streamed on This site will also publish video archives with links to relevant documents.


For further information contact:

Robin Major
Senior Communications Advisor
+ 64 (0) 3 741 3004
+64 (0)21 621 656