CM Health takes responsible view of seismic building reports

seismic

Media Release 04 September 2019 | Detailed seismic reports undertaken by Counties Manukau Health into 21 of its buildings constructed before 2000 show the majority of the buildings do not have major earthquake issues.

Counties Manukau Health has already identified issues with the Galbraith building and Franklin Memorial Hospital, and these latest reports indicate that three additional buildings, ranging in age, size and use, require additional work to strengthen them.

Strategy and Infrastructure Director, Parekawhia McLean, says the reports provide CM Health with evidence and confidence that the majority of the DHB’s buildings are above the strength rating of ‘earthquake prone’ (as identified by the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016).

“CM Health has a responsibility to ensure all earthquake risks relating to its buildings are actively identified and managed, and given the age of many of our buildings is over 40 years, we have proactively taken the opportunity to review our older buildings,” she says.

“The results of these expert reports are encouraging, and have helped us focus on the buildings that require the most attention.

“However it is important to remember that the region under CM Health’s responsibility is classed as a low seismic risk area. In Auckland this means Auckland Council requires building owners to strengthen an earthquake prone building within 35 years of assessment.”

The buildings identified as ‘earthquake prone’ are Franklin Memorial Hospital 30% New Building Standard (NBS) and Importance level 3 (IL3);  Pukekohe Hospital Plant Room 30%NBS (IL3) and Esme Green at Middlemore Hospital 25%NBS (IL3).

“We have already publicly advised the rating for Franklin Memorial Hospital (30%NBS (IL3)), and the Board is considering all the possible options,” Ms McLean says.

“Esme Green was built in 1947 and is not for clinical use. The reports have identified a solution to strengthen existing walls which will improve the seismic rating to 35%NBS and design is currently underway.

“The Pukekohe Hospital Plant Room is a small building which houses plant equipment critical for the function of the hospital; it is not occupied. Because of the size and nature of the building, CM Health has requested a report on strengthening options which range from Do Minimum to Do Most.”

Ms McLean says one other report was received for Building 38, which includes some clinical functions and is located on the Western campus of the Middlemore Hospital site. The initial assessment gave the building a score of 40%NBS (IL3).

“This latest report indicates that the score could be between >67% and <34% NBS, depending on the results of the adequacy of spacing of cavity ties within the walls of the building. This is still a work in progress.”

Ms McLean says CM Health takes the safety of staff, patients and visitors very seriously and although the DHB has 35 years to make building changes, it is moving much faster than that.