Geotech work outside the War Memorial Library Buildings that was scheduled for next week has been postponed. A new date for this will be announced in the coming weeks. This means the library and cafe will be open as usual. Updates will be posted to Hutt City Libraries.
Building standards in New Zealand are continually being updated. It is our role to ensure that we are applying these new standards to our buildings so we can make informed decisions about building maintenance, safety and building operations. When we receive reports on our buildings we look to incorporate any work required as part of our annual general programme of maintenance. We are currently commissioning a number of engineering assessments so we have up-to-date information on all of our buildings. We expect to publish a register of the latest NBS ratings applied to our buildings and other assets later this month.
The War Memorial Library buildings comprise three structures. The library, the Little Theatre and the café have each received engineering assessments.
War Memorial Library
The War Memorial Library (WML) has received a Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA) indicating an NBS of between 40 and 45%. As recommended in the report, geotechnical work is required to help us to determine what seismic strengthening is required going forward. We have confirmed that GHD will undertake geotechnical testing of the ground conditions around the perimeter of the War Memorial Library buildings, based on the findings and recommendations from the DSA report. This work will be scheduled in the coming weeks. It will involve a sonic rig drilling a borehole in two locations around the outside of the building. Each drilling location is expected to take up to two days to complete.
GHD advises that the work is likely to be noisy, and notes that while workplaces near to drilling sites often stay open when assessments of this type are being carried out, it is unusual to have two drill sites and four days of uninterrupted drilling. It is also unusual to do these works alongside public spaces with occupancy numbers of the library’s scale (an average week sees 10,000 people visit WML).
Due to the predicted noise and disruption, all events/programmes scheduled at WML will be relocated or rescheduled when the drilling gets underway.
The Café has been assessed at 70% NBS.
An initial seismic assessment (ISA) indicates the Little Theatre has a rating of 15% NBS. This has only been confirmed today. The assessment recommends further investigative work including a DSA and concept strengthening design to increase the building’s resilience. This will now be commissioned. Based on the ISA, the Environmental Consents team will issue an Earthquake Prone Building Notice that will be placed at the entrances to the theatre.
A decision has made, following discussion by the Corporate Leadership Team this afternoon, to keep the theatre open.
It is important to note that the engineering assessment of the theatre is a preliminary report only and the rating will only be confirmed once the detailed report is received. Staff will now start to work with people who have made bookings at the theatre to advise them of the NBS% and to inform them that it has been classified as earthquake prone. Wherever possible bookings will be moved to one of our other facilities. In the meantime no new bookings will be taken for the theatre. A DSA is expected to be received in the next six to eight weeks.