The Archdiocese of Wellington is responsible for over 180 buildings, including churches, halls and presbyteries across the lower North Island and South Island. Following the Canterbury earthquakes, the Archdiocese took proactive measures to assess their property portfolio for earthquake strength and safety. Some of their buildings are heritage listed, with many being used by community groups and schools.
Miyamoto International NZ (formerly Miyamoto Impact) was appointed when the Archdiocese had already completed Initial Evaluation Procedures for most of their property portfolio. This data was then used to identify buildings that posed a high seismic risk and required further investigation. Our task was to provide Detailed Assessments (DA) for 17 buildings in both the North and South Islands in a short space of time.
The Archdiocese had another engineer carrying out Detailed Assessments for a number of other buildings. This meant it was important that the reports to the Archdiocese contained relevant information and were consistent, irrespective of which engineer produced them. To achieve this, Miyamoto facilitated a workshop with the Archdiocese and both engineers to agree what information should be included in the Detailed Assessment and create a template with guidance notes. It was also agreed that the engineers would peer review each other’s reports before being issued as a final quality check.
The team then undertook a planning and programming exercise. This exercise was to determine the level of existing building information available and estimate the complexity of the work. This information meant we could provide the Archdiocese with a fair price for carrying out the Detailed Assessments and perform them in the most efficient manner. Buildings were grouped geographically and ranked by priority so that site visits could be carried out efficiently and minimise time and travel costs.
The Detailed Assessment reports completed to date have provided the Archdiocese with a comprehensive understanding of the structural condition of each building. To allow non-engineers to easily read and understand the reports, they have been written in clear language, with diagrams and photos where possible.
The reports have not solely relied on %NBS of the building to rate them. Instead, they include details of the critical structural weaknesses driving the %NBS and the Death, Damage and Durability (DDD) assessment of the building. Most importantly, the Detailed Assessments do not just provide a list of problems. They also include solutions to fix them and bring the buildings up to a minimum of 67%NBS.
We are currently working closely with the Archdiocese to seismically upgrade at risk buildings.