New earthquake information paper examines building design

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It provides answers to critical questions such as:
• What is an earthquake-prone building?
• Why did buildings collapse in these earthquakes?
• Given that a building has been through one earthquake, how do we know how much of its “earthquake life” has been used up?
The paper looks to answer questions related to the expected performance of buildings during earthquakes, as well as their actual behaviour, in Christchurch.

Better public understanding
The contributing organisations hope it will also provide better public understanding about designing buildings to resist earthquakes, and the new lessons to be learnt following the Canterbury earthquakes.

Royal Society of New Zealand vice-president Professor Keith Hunter says the Society is providing a series of information papers for the public explaining what is known about Christchurch’s earthquake activity and impacts, based on the best research knowledge in New Zealand.

“This new paper follows on from our previous paper about earthquake seismology. It draws on New Zealand’s engineering expertise to answer questions around the behaviour of buildings and structures in Christchurch following the quakes there,” Professor Hunter says. 

“We hope that by bringing together information on these issues, some of the questions and concerns which people have will be answered.”
IPENZ chief executive Dr Andrew Cleland says there is a wide range of people with expertise in earthquake engineering in New Zealand, many of whom dedicate their careers to researching new innovations and international best practice.

“We are pleased that the fact sheets we have produced ourselves and in partnership with the Royal Society of New Zealand provide an opportunity for sharing that knowledge with New Zealanders.”