Statistics House Investigation

Following the 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake, MBIE commissioned an expert Panel to investigate the factors that led to the partial floor collapse that occurred at Wellington’s Statistics House during the earthquake. The investigation looked at the building design, construction and land influences that could have affected the performance of the building. The expert Panel published a report of its findings in March 2017.

During the demolition of Statistics House in December 2017 and January 2018, observations made by the engineering consultant engaged to monitor the demolition indicated that the seating provided for some of the precast concrete floor units was less than what was shown on the original design documents. This new information led MBIE to reconvene the expert Panel to determine whether this new information could change the original investigation findings. The Panel concluded that the new information does not change the original conclusions about the primary cause of the partial floor collapse.

The Kaikōura earthquake was particularly complex. More than 12 separate faults broke during the quake, including some that had not previously been mapped, and the frequency of shaking that arrived in Wellington 240km from the epicentre affected mid-rise Wellington buildings.

Questions and Answers are available.

MBIE, Engineering New Zealand and Engineering New Zealand's technical societies have produced information for owners and building professionals responsible for assessing and designing multi-storey concrete moment resisting frame buildings with precast concrete floor systems that may be vulnerable to loss of floor support during an earthquake.

Framed buildings with precast concrete floor systems is available on the Building Performance website.

2017 Statistics House Investigation Report

On 31 March 2017 Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith released the expert Panel’s investigation into the performance of Statistics House. The Panel concluded that a combination of four factors contributed to the partial failure of lower floor segments.

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2018 Statistics House Investigation addendum report

During the demolition of Statistics House, observations made by the engineering consultant who was monitoring the demolition indicated that the seating provided for some of the precast concrete floor units was less than what was shown on the original design documents.

Read more…