MBIE releases addendum report to Statistics House Investigation

On: 4 July 2018

During the 14 November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, the Statistics House building in Wellington suffered a partial floor collapse. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) convened an expert Panel to understand the factors that led to the partial floor collapse which was concluded in March 2017.

Statistics House was demolished late 2017/early 2018. During this process, demolition engineers noted that some of the seating of the precast concrete floor units was less than specified on the design documentation, which they reported to MBIE.

In March 2018 MBIE reconvened the expert Panel to consider the new information, and establish whether it changed any of the original conclusions and recommendations.

The Panel has now issued an addendum to the original investigation report. The Panel concluded that the evidence of short seatings in the precast concrete floor units does not change the original conclusions on why the partial floor collapses occurred.

The Panel has presented three new recommendations for MBIE to consider. Dave Robson, Manager Building Performance and Engineering says “Since the original investigation MBIE has completed a significant amount of work responding to the four original recommendations, including issuing a warning on the use of loop bar details in precast concrete double-tee floors.

“The Concrete Structures Standard (NZS3101) has been updated and now contains more stringent provisions for pre-cast floor systems in flexible buildings, and MBIE has worked with Wellington City Council on the ‘targeted damage evaluation’ of similar building types in Wellington.

“These actions give assurance that the current building regulatory system is effective in delivering safe buildings.

“If building owners are concerned about their building’s precast concrete floor earthquake performance, they should seek professional engineering advice.”

Statistics House investigation

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