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Overview of Technical Project Groups

NZSEE Technical Project Groups are charged with the task of “taking recent research or findings and packaging them in a form that can be readily understood and applied by practitioners.”

Key functions that are commonly involved in this are:

  • Summarising available scientific or engineering knowledge;
  • Developing a process or methodology to apply theoretical material; and
  • Preparing a technical report

The Technical Project Group Guidelines provide further details on establishing, funding and managing the groups.

Building Safety Evaluation: Draft Guidelines for Territorial Authorities

The Gisborne earthquake of 20 December 2007 provided a timely reminder that it is crucial to quickly evaluate the safety of buildings and determine whether or not they are suitable for occupancy. Gisborne District Council’s actions in response to the earthquake served to reduce anxiety amongst owners and tenants by providing rapid and authoritative decisions on the safety of their buildings.

The New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering’s Working Party on Integrated Planning for Earthquake Response has subsequently completed the update of their 1998 document on post-earthquake building safety evaluations, drawing upon the experiences from Gisborne.

The document Building Safety Evaluation in a Declared Emergency: Guidelines for Territorial Authorities provides guidance for Territorial Authority Building Control Managers to prepare for, implement and manage building structural safety evaluation activities for such events, and for engineers and others assisting with the process in the field. It has been produced with support from the Department of Building and Housing and the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

These guidelines were circulated widely during December, including copies issued to all Territorial Authority Chief Executives. The deadline for comments on the draft was Monday 16 February 2009.

Enquiries about the Guidelines should be addressed to the Society’s project leader, Dave Brunsdon.