KiwiRail is today posting Earthquake Prone Building (EPB) notices around Wellington Railway Station.
KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer – Capital Projects & Asset Development David Gordon says: “We do not believe there is any increased risk for the public or our staff who work in the building.
“There has been a change in the technical guidelines for Engineering Assessments, but the building itself hasn’t changed and we have not discovered anything new.
“If it were a normal office building the overall building structure would be rated at 65-75% New Building Standard (NBS). But because the office is part of a public building it has to meet a higher standard than a normal office building.”
“Significant work was undertaken to strengthen the station building in the early-mid 2000s, with further work in 2015 after the 2013 Seddon earthquake. This included work strengthening the atrium roof trusses, and removal unreinforced masonry from the building to bring these elements up to the standard of the rest of the building. Additional work was also undertaken post the November 2016 earthquake to address other earthquake risk elements
“We are now having the building reassessed following the latest guidelines and will be putting up EPB notices in the interim. It is no different to many other public buildings around Wellington.
We agree with Council that the building should be considered earthquake prone until that assessment is completed. If that assessment shows any further work is required, KiwiRail will undertake that as soon as possible.
KiwiRail’s engineering assessments post the 2015 project found the overall building structure to be between 45-55% of New Building Standard (NBS) where an earthquake prone building is below 34% NBS.
Following changes to the Engineering guidelines KiwiRail is currently having engineers reassess the building and will consider the building Earthquake prone in the interim. The assessment will take up to eight months to complete due to the complex nature of the building.