Seismic Isolation Guidelines Project
Need for a Guideline
The current New Zealand Building code does not provide adequate guidance for the design of seismically isolated structures. A New Zealand guideline for the Engineering design of Seismic Isolation Systems is overdue in the country which invented this high performing system many years ago. This project has been the response to a high demand for guidance, and is an opportunity for New Zealand to remain at the forefront of seismic engineering and lead the drive on consistency. There is an economic driver to keep costs of the isolation system and associated structure reasonable, while ensuring appropriate performance.
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Recommendations 66-69 support development and uptake of low damage technologies. MBIE and EQC are the major contributors to fund and implement this development, with additional commitment from NZSEE, SESOC and NZ Concrete Society. The Quake Centre is project managing the initiative.
The objective is to produce a guideline to provide consistency and efficiency in the design and specification of these systems to meet defined performance levels consistent with New Zealand loading and materials standards.
What has been done to date
Over the last few months, writers have worked both independently and as a team to complete draft chapters. Draft chapters have now been collated as a single document, and this single document is now being reviewed by the project team. In September, the draft guidelines will be sent out for several review phases, for consideration by a wider audience and feedback sought. This includes international peer reviewers. Once these first review phases have been completed and feedback has been incorporated, the document will be published as a ‘working document’ and will made available for use on “live” projects. The guidelines need to be tested, so feedback will be sought over a realistic period of time (12-18 months, or as projects allow). The guidelines will then be reviewed before being finalised.