INDEPENDENT NEWS

Wellington buildings to be structurally monitored in tech

Published: Thu 6 Jun 2019 10:07 AM
Sent on behalf of Mark Futter, Global Seismic Data
A world-first monitoring system designed to save lives and improve resilience in an earthquake is being installed in buildings throughout Wellington City.
It can also be installed in key infrastructure, priority evacuation and lifeline routes.
The system uses a network of seismic data sensors to provide data on how infrastructure stands up to an earthquake. "Data from the network of seismic data sensors will be translated into reports on how each building performs across the city.
Steven McLauchlan, the global operations and supply chain director of developers Global Seismic Data says the world-first Structural Health Monitoring System (SHMS) will save lives.
"SHMS can instantly provide earthquake response information in cities, for first responders, engineers, building owners, insurers and the public.
"Aside from making cities safer, we are about life safety and impacting economies.
"We’re leading the world in creating the global standard for a new level of earthquake response, building seismic insights for resilience and sustainability across communities.
"We’re working with building owners and leading engineering and insurance companies around the world and as a result our system is being installed across 23 countries." Mr McLauchlan says.
One of those building owners is Ian Cassels, of The Wellington Company, who is installing the seismic monitoring system across his portfolio as part of their continual plan to improve; stronger buildings, safer outcomes resilience.
"This system provides us with invaluable information about how our building portfolio performs in an earthquake," he says.
Firstly this provides us with real time information to manage and prioritise access for post event occupancy. "This will be invaluable in terms of accessing whether buildings need to be evacuated or if they are safe to re-enter. "
Secondly we will have specific detailed information to enable us to confidently target our seismic upgrade investment to create safer and more resilient buildings for our tenants and the Wellington community, Mr Cassells says.
Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford says Global Seismic Data’s system is a welcome addition to the city’s resilience.
"SHMS provides real-time, practical information and this will help improve our processes for managing risk, readiness, response and recovery. While we currently receive information on how strong an earthquake is and where it is, we don’t have fine detail on how ground motion varies building geography, nor its effect throughout our Cities buildings.
"The system collects and analyses the sensor data for each individual building, enabling engineers evaluate the building’s design model based on the real data. Results are sent immediately to buildings engineers and is also instantly available for emergency management teams if required to be used for priority assessments and triage helping the direction of resources as to what assets need to be checked as a priority.
"Business supports anything that makes the city safer and more resilient, and better understanding how infrastructure has performed and how soon it can be re-entered is a big part of that.
"It will be very useful in understanding how earthquakes or degradation over time might affect Wellington’s building’s as a whole and how we can best respond when disaster strikes."
"Getting businesses back up and running as soon as possible after a big quake is crucial to our economy and people’s livelihoods, and Global Seismic Data’s system will help make that happen."

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