Improving building standards and review of building codes projects which the Natural Hazards Inc. cluster are already involved in or have completed include:

The Regional Riskscape Model (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: July 2004
RiskScape is multi-hazard risk assessment system that has developed out of a joint-venture research programme between GNS Science and NIWA. It involves the development of a generic model that allows local authorities and emergency management groups to analyse their regional risks from multiple natural hazards, thus assisting with community resilience and public safety.
Lead company: Joint Venture
Associated consultant(s): GNS Science National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)

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Technical Support for the Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: December 2006
On 28 March 2005 the island of Nias was struck by a magnitude 8.7 earthquake which left 839 dead, destroyed 13,000 houses, and damaged hundreds of important buildings and structures. After the initial rescue and relief processes, the BRR (Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction) focused on introducing mitigation measures as part of an integrated disaster risk reduction programme. This UNDP-funded project was designed to provide BRR Nias with technical support to enhance its operational capacity. Three Earthquake Advisors were recruited and seconded into the BRR Office in Gunung Sitoli, Nias.
Lead company: GNS Science International

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New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: July 1998
The project consisted of the development of the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model that has served as the basis for developing the seismic zone factor maps of the new structural design standard for New Zealand (NZS1170.5). In addition, seismic hazard assessments of many major projects, including dams, bridges and buildings have been based on this model.
Lead company: GNS Science

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National Building Code for Nepal (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: May 1992
This project provided Nepal with: Seismic Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment Preparation and Implementation of National Building Code Development of Alternative Building Materials and Technologies.
Lead company: Beca International Consultants Ltd
Associated consultant(s): Golder Associates, Canada Silt Consultants, Nepal TAEC Consultants, Nepal

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Earthquake Risk Modelling (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: July 2000
Earthquake risk modelling incorporates the most recent information about earthquake sources, attenuation of strong ground motion and building vulnerability. The techniques can be applied to specific building portfolios, giving realistic estimates of damage and loss for planning or insurance purposes.
Lead company: GNS Science

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Development of New Structural Design Standard NZS1170 (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: November 2003
GNS Science contribution to the project mainly involved drafting the Earthquake Hazard section of the new Structural Design Standard for New Zealand, NZS1170. The new Standard was developed to allow more accurate results by including a near-fault factor to account for systematic near-source directivity and polarisation effects for longer spectral-period components that were not included in the standard hazard estimates. A committee chaired by GNS Science worked on the seismic hazard section, including developing spectra, seismic coefficient maps, return period factors, site classifications and near-fault factors.
Lead company: Joint Venture
Associated consultant(s): Beca International Consultants Ltd GNS Science Holmes Consulting ltd BRANZ Ltd University of Canterbury University of Auckland

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New Zealand Tsunami Risk and Preparedness (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: March 2005
Following the December 26, 2004 disastrous tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the New Zealand Government resolved to consider the risk of such events in New Zealand. MCDEM was required to develop a national picture of the risk of tsunami for New Zealand, the consequences, and New Zealandís preparedness to deal with these eventualities. GNS Science was commissioned by MCDEM to provide two reports towards this purpose: the Science Report and the Preparedness Report. These reports can be downloaded from the MCDEM website (www.mcdem.govt.nz).
Lead company: GNS Science
Associated consultant(s): National Insititute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Waikato University University of Auckland Barnett & MacMurray Ltd

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Wellington Area Casualty Estimation (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: January 1997
A major strike-slip fault runs through the urban region close to the central business districts of Wellington. This fault is capable of generating earthquakes of magnitude Mw=7.5 at average recurrence intervals of 500-800 years. Apart from situations where major secondary catastrophes (large scale fire, massive ground failures, tsunami, dam failure, collapse of large civil engineering structures, etc.), casualties in large earthquakes are mostly caused by building damage. New Zealandís earthquake design and construction practices are amongst the best in the world, however, some of the existing building stock pre-dates the introduction of the current high design standards.
Lead company: Joint Venture
Associated consultant(s): Cambridge Architectural Research Limited (England)

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Development of Earthquake Response Spectrum Attenuation Model for New Zealand (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: June 1997
Crustal and subduction zone earthquakes must be considered in seismic design of major centres and important infrastructure. Some New Zealand cities are close to major active faults with estimated recurrence intervals of a few hundred years for earthquakes causing surface-fault rupture. Many New Zealand dams are near faults with recurrence intervals of several thousand years, critical for the 10,000 year return considered their Maximum Design Earthquake motions. Response spectrum attenuation relations relevant to New Zealand were required to review the New Zealand Loadings Standard, the construction or retrofitting of buildings, and design reviews and strengthening of hydro-electricity dams.
Lead company: Joint Venture
Associated consultant(s): Woodward Clyde Federal Services (now part of URS)

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Strengthening of Disaster Preparedness and Response Capacity (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: July 2006
On 27 May 2006 the magnitude 6.3 Yogyakarta earthquake killed nearly 6000 people and left 1.5 million homeless on the island of Java. In response to a request by the Government of Yogyakarta and the Sleman District Government, NZAID sent a scoping mission to explore ways to support and enhance the Sleman District's emergency management capabilities. The main objectives of the scoping mission were to identify areas in which NZ would be well-placed to provide: technical assistance and training that could significantly improve the disaster preparedness and response capacities; disaster response planning and earthquake-resistant construction.
Lead company: GNS Science International
Associated consultant(s): Environmental & Community Risk International Pty

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Post-Earthquake Functioning of Cities (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: July 2003
Modern building designs in New Zealand have achieved the legislated aim of ensuring life safety. Nevertheless, they are not required to control damage, and hence ensure neither the suitability of buildings for continued occupancy or economical repair cost. For this reason, New Zealandís cities could be rendered non-functional by earthquake damage to buildings, their contents, and their infrastructure. This project aims to reduce post-earthquake trauma and economic impact for people in urban areas. The primary focus is design for reduced damage in large earthquakes, leading to economic benefits (minimised losses) and reduced social disruption.
Lead company: GNS Science
Associated consultant(s): BRANZ Ltd Robinson Seismic Ltd

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Feasibility Study for the Retrofitting of Selected Residential Buildings (PDF 1 page summary)
Project start date: February 2005
The 1999 earthquake centred near Izmit caused fatalities from building collapses in the Municipality of BakirkŲy, Istanbul and there is a high probability this area will be severely shaken within the next 25 years. The project examined the feasibility of strengthening 369 apartment buildings in this municipality. The occupants volunteered to have their buildings subjected to the material, geotechnical and analytical tests needed to estimate their fragility. Beca International Consultants led this joint-venture with Turkish consulting engineer Prota. Other New Zealand firms involved in the project were David Hopkins Consulting, GNS Science and Holmes Consulting Group.
Lead company: Beca International Consultants Ltd
Associated consultant(s): Prota Engineering (Turkey) David Hopkins Consulting Ltd GNS Science Holmes Consulting Group

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Contact us today to discuss your region's needs. If you would like to read more about specific Natural Hazard New Zealand members who work in the area of tsunamis.

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