Buildings old and new

Christchurch had some beautiful old buildings but, as Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said, some of those old buildings killed people.

On Breakfast this morning he said it might be possible to restore some of the historic buildings.

But it won’t be possible to restore them all and nor should anyone try – the rebuild will be faster and the city safer if some are razed and cleared.

New buildings are safer. We have not just building codes to thank for that but the fact that people who design and build our buildings, comply with them.

As Gerry also said:”You set codes, you build to codes and people stay safe.”

There are other parts of the world which have codes which aren’t applied or complied with.

5 Responses to Buildings old and new

  1. pdm says:

    Watching from afar there seemed to be a lot of brick buildings that collapsed – a sign of the British heritage I guess.

  2. gravedodger says:

    Two of the three high death toll buildings, The PGC and The CTV structures were built since 1960 and should have been still standing even if badly damaged and we must nake every effort to try and find out why they collapsed as they did, The Cathedral is slightly different in that a quake as destructive as 22-10-11 was always going to place the old lady of the square in jeopardy.
    I accept that a completely safe building is never going to apply in every instance but the PGC building was originally built as the H Q for the ChCh Drainage Board and the original occupier of the CTV structure is unknown to me but one assumes they were fully compliant although Mike Yardley did say on TV that as one who worked for CTV the building since Sept 4th had seemed noisier and less solid.
    I understand one of the main facets of EQ proofing is that a structure should retain enough integrity to allow evacuation and the Grand Chancellor seems to be in that category. However this most recent event last Tuesday seems to have had an energy output far in excess of what normally occurs from a 6.3 hence the greater devastation.
    Marking today, one week on as Red and Black day is another way for all to reflect on the disaster that has brought unprecedented unity across our country and indeed the world.

  3. bulaman says:

    Andy Buchanan at CU engineering school has been building and testing some amazing wooden structures. Went on a tour through there and these were standing (from memory) 9+ quakes up to 11 stories tall. Local grown timber (laminates) some steel and minimal masonry. Fire resistant (better than most steel) , sustainable and look good (to my eyes!) The new eco city centre in wood!

  4. ihstewart says:

    I personally think it is time to really think about a lot of our old buildings. I would go as far as to say demolish the Cathedral and replace it with a modern building that will be iconic now and in another 140 years but will also be safe. I note that the CTV building was modern though 1980 that raises a few questions.

  5. homepaddock says:

    The PGC and CTV buildings were newer but not new. Those built in the last couple fo decades are safer.

    Concrete tilt might not be pretty but it’s safer.

    IH – NOt PC has a sugestion modelled on the Kaiser WIlhelm Memorial church: http://pc.blogspot.com/2011/02/kaiser-wilhelm-memorial-church.html

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