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Seismic Performance of Hollow Core Floor Systems: Guidelines for Design Assessment and Retrofit

The Preliminary Draft – April 2009 aims to provide a useful source of information to engineers tasked with designing, assessing or retrofitting buildings with hollow-core floors.

The document should not be regarded as a definitive practice guide, but as a source of useful additional information to support the processes of design, assessment and retrofit. Many issues have not been resolved to the satisfaction of the Precast Concrete Floors Overview Group (PCFOG).

The PCFOG sought comments by 30 June 2009, which are now being considered. A revised draft will be distributed for wider comment and trial use later in 2009.

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 updated their 1998 document on post-earthquake building safety evaluations, drawing upon the experiences from Gisborne. Please go to Publications to download the now complete August 2009 version.

Notes for commentators

David Hopkins contributed the following notes and questions to encourage feedback on the “Guidelines for Design Assessment and Retrofit of Hollow Core Floor Systems”. They provide useful guidelines for commenting on other publications too.

These are prompts to consider specific aspects, but comments need not be confined to the headings listed.

Do not feel obliged to be comprehensive. A brief point on a particular aspect may make a significant difference. However, be as constructive and as specific as possible.

A: Overall document
Thinking of the document overall, do you have any comments or suggestions to improve the:

  1. Layout and presentation
  2. Content
  3. Value as a technical resource

B: Section by Section
Bearing in mind your response to the prompts above, do you have any specific comments or suggestions on the material in a particular section?

  1. Background
  2. Introduction
  3. Hollow-core floor units and systems
  4. Performance expectations
  5. Key considerations in hollow-core floor performance
  6. Design and specification of new hollow-core floor systems
  7. Assessment of existing hollow-core floor systems
  8. Retrofit of hollow-core floor systems

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to help us improve this first draft.

David Hopkins
for Precast Concrete Floors Overview Group