Toi Pōneke earthquake prone building, West Buildingaccurate as at May 2017
Q: What does the phrase "earthquake prone" mean?
A: An earthquake prone building is one which would have its ultimate capacity exceeded in a moderate earthquake, and which would be likely to collapse in such an event. Buildings are designated as earthquake prone if their strength is one third or less than what is required for a new building on the same site. For this reason it tends to be older buildings, pre-dating the current legal building requirements that are deemed earthquake prone. The Toi Pōneke West building(older building) has been assessed as being less than 34% of the current building standards. This means that the building is now considered earthquake-prone, as the structure has fallen below the current Building Act 2004 seismic design standards.
Q: Does this mean that the building could fall down at any time?
A: No. The earthquake prone status of the Toi Pōneke building means that an earthquake deemed moderate or stronger needs to occur for the building to be affected.
Q: But it does mean that the building is dangerous?
A: No. The Toi Pōneke building has not been classified as a dangerous building and it complies with the Building Code. It is as safe as it has ever been; it is just that we now know that it would probably not withstand a moderate earthquake, in the event one were to occur.
Q: What is the landlord doing to rectify the Toi Pōneke building’s earthquake prone status?
A: The Wellington City Council is working with the landlord to find out more about the work required to strengthen the Toi Pōneke building. Responsibility for doing this work rests with the landlord.
Q: Will the Toi Pōneke building be closed to tenants and users during the remedial strengthening work?
A: No. The building will remain open as usual.
Q: What is being done to protect users of the Toi Pōneke from a health and safety perspective until the strengthening work occurs?
A: The health and safety of all people using the Toi Pōneke buildings in any capacity (whether employees, contractors, tenants, casual users or members of the public) is paramount. All regular users of the Toi Pōneke building (particularly Wellington City Council employees and tenants) will receive regular updates on Toi Pōneke health and safety and evacuation procedures.
Q: As a user of, or visitor to, the Toi Pōneke buildings who should I contact with further questions?
A: Wellington City Council and the Toi Pōneke team appreciate that people using the Toi Pōneke building for different reasons, and attending it in a variety of capacities, may have different questions.
Please contact us if you would like further information.