Monier roof tiles deliver an earthquake-proof walling solution


Wellington Hospital chose Monier Nullarbor terracotta roof tiles for the redevelopment of its new building and the refurbishment of its existing building.

Monier Nullarbor was chosen not only for the standout performance of its system, but also because of its natural ‘“earth” colour, which added warmth and texture to the streetscape.

The Wellington Hospital redevelopment was completed approximately five years ago, and during that time the region has been subjected to numerous earthquakes of varying intensity, including the 2013 quake which registered 5.4 on the Richter scale.

During this period, the Monier Terracotta roof tile system has proven to be a durable, functional and aesthetic addition to this impressive civic building.

”The brickwork of the old entrance and administration building was such a recognisable landmark, we wanted to retain its essence in the new construction. But we were obviously mindful of the impractically of using conventional brickwork in an earthquake-prone region like Wellington,” CCM Architects’ John Rogers says.

The hospital’s redevelopment included the construction of a new 48,000sq m building, the refurbishment of more than 15,000sq m of existing space and extensive earthworks, including the demolition of the familiar Riddiford Street facade.

A range of alternate options were considered for this application, including prefabricated reinforced brick panels, engineered masonry wall systems and the Monier Nullarbor terracotta roof tile system.

Each option was subjected to an onsite trial, with massive 4×4 metre sample panels constructed in-situ and tested for structural stability and water penetration.

The Monier roof tile system outperformed even the highly regarded engineered option, and when considered as part of a complete cost benefit analysis, it also proved to be the most cost-effective solution.

Over 38,000 Nullarbor terracotta roof tiles were used in the construction, with each tile meticulously laid onto a timber matrix consisting of 75mm x 50mm battens mounted to a series of 150mm x 50mm vertical studs, and spaced at 400mm centres.

To ensure the system’s longevity, each tile was individually fixed at three points using 316 grade stainless steel screws and storm clips.

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