Archive | South of Bombays

Updated: Wairau Valley car yard sells at over $2000/m² at Bayleys auction

Published 18 May 2017, updated 21 & 28 May 2017:
11 of the 21 commercial properties auctioned by Bayleys on Wednesday in its third Total Property portfolio for the year were sold under the hammer. 2 more have been sold post-auction – first, 100 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead, followed by 44 College Hill.

The first were sold, followed by a lull, but 2 of the most expensive offerings were well down the auction list.

One was a Wairau Valley car sales yard, set among a line of lowrise buildings jammed between the Northern Motorway & Wairau Rd on the North Shore, a stretch where the height limit is now 20m under the unitary plan.

The car yard was sold at $2365/m², which means it’s destined for multi-level development.

2 properties were sold for $4 million, both in Henderson. The first was a bank branch on Great North Rd, sold on a 5.5% yield, and the second, a Supercheap Auto outlet in the Lincoln North shopping centre, sold on a 5.3% yield.


Victoria Quarter

166 Hobson St:
Outcome: sold prior
Agents: Sarah Boles & Terry Kim
Story, 11 May 2017: 12 years after demolition order scrapped, Hobson St building sells

Isthmus east


63 Queens Rd:
Features: 97m² retail unit on 2 levels occupied by Willow Hair Design, parking space
Rent: $24,000/year net + gst on new 3-year lease with 2 2-year renewals
Outcome: passed in
Agents: Ken Hu


385 Parnell Rd, unit E:
Features: 54m², retail fully leased on month-to-month basis, 2 secure parking spaces
Rent: $32,760/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $505,000
Agents: Andrew Wallace & Cameron Melhuish


563 Remuera Rd:
Features: 144m² cafe, Upland Rd shopping village
Rent: $76,104/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $1.6 million
Agents: Cameron Melhuish & Andrew Wallace

Isthmus west

Freemans Bay

42 College Hill:
Features: 511m² section, house with 124m² floor area, onsite parking
Rent: $44,500/year net + gst
Outcome: passed in at $1.5 million
Agents: James Were & Scott Kirk

Updated: 44 College Hill:
Features: 389m² section, house, onsite parking
Rent: $44,000/year net + gst
Outcome: passed in, sold post-auction for $1.5 million
Agents: James Were & Scott Kirk

Mt Roskill

74 Carr Rd:
Features: 835m² site, 697m² single-level building
Outcome: withdrawn from auction, changed to sale by deadline private treaty
Agents: Tony Chaudhary & Sunil Bhana



39 Station Rd:
Features: 7199m² commercial property in 2 titles
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agents: John Greenwood & Paul Dixon


The Grange, 67 Auckland Rd, unit 11:
Features: 59m², Fish Nets fish & chips shop on 10-year lease in new retail development
Rent: $30,975/year net + gst
Outcome: passed in at $480,000
Agents: Matt Lee, Jan Hutcheson & James Chan



75 Corinthian Drive, unit L1:
Features: 197m² first-floor office, new 6-year lease in place with renewal rights, 5 parking spaces
Rent: $58,800/year net + gst + outgoings
Outcome: sold for $1.095 million
Agents: Jane Sims & Tonia Robertson


Updated: 100 Hinemoa St:
Features: 757m² corner site, 421m² 2-storey building
Rent: $103,907/year net + gst from 6 tenancies
Outcome: passed in at $2.7 million, sold post-auction for $2.7 million
Agents: Simon Aldridge & David Huang

27-33 Mokoia Rd, units 4, 5 & 7:
Features: 59m² total, 3 strata units next to Highbury mall, tenants are a dry cleaner & kebab shop, third unit vacant
Agents for all 3: Michael Nees, Owen Ding & Oscar Kuang
Unit 4, vacant:
Outcome: passed in at $300,000
Unit 5, kebab shop:
Rent: $24,000/year net + gst, lease running to 2030
Outcome: passed in at $470,000
Unit 7, dry cleaners:
Rent: $18,942/year net + gst, lease 6 years from last October
Outcome: passed in at $300,000

225 Onewa Rd:
Features: cross-lease, 1/3 share in 913m², vacant ex-surgery, 5 parking spaces
Outcome: sold for $650,000
Agents: Michael Nees, Owen Ding & Oscar Kuang


7 Vega Place, unit E:
Features: 272m² industrial unit,
Rent: $52,000/year net + gst from established tenants on new leases
Outcome: sold for $980,000
Agents: James Kidd & Matt Mimmack


1 Polarity Rise, ground floor:
Features: 145m², 2 shops on 2 titles for sale as one
Rent: $61,966.70/year net + gst + opex
Outcome: passed in
Agents: Ashton Geissler, Eddie Zhong & Mustan Bagasra


424 Lake Rd:
Features: 3 tenancies
Rent: $61,950/year net + gst, rising to $63,383 in November,
Outcome: sold for $1.5 million
Agents: Michael Nees & David Huang

Wairau Valley

107 Wairau Rd:
Features: 1184m² site, 13-year-old car dealership Car7, 40m² office 
Rent: $63,600/year net + gst, redevelopment potential up to 20m height limit
Outcome: sold for $2.8 million at $2365/m²
Agents: Brian Caldwell & Ranjan Unka



Lincoln North Shopping Centre, 192 Lincoln Rd, unit A1:
Features: 756m² retail unit, 7-year lease to Supercheap Auto from July 2016
Rent: $212,292.82/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $4 million at a 5.3% yield
Agents: Matt Lee, Tony Chaudhary & James Chan

373 Great North Rd:
Features: 808m² corner site, 1240m² floor area, BNZ as tenant on lease to 2020 with further renewal rights, basement parking
Rent: $219,360/year net + gst + opex, rent review in December
Outcome: sold for $4 million
Agents: Mike Adams & Laurie Burt


East Tamaki

44D Andromeda Crescent:
Features: 400m² industrial unit – high stud, clearspan warehouse 300m², office/amenities 40m², mezzanine 60m²
Outcome: sold for $735,000
Agents: Nelson Raines

Mangere Bridge

19 Coronation Rd:
Features: 273m² town centre site, 160m² bank branch, seismic rating 67% of new building standard
Rent: $34,000/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $973,000
Agents: Nicolas Ching & Beterly Pan

South of the Bombays

Hawke’s Bay

Napier, Onekawa

Deco City Motor Lodge, 308 Kennedy Rd:
Features: 2682m² site, 30 studios and 1- & 2-bedroom units, conference suite, manager’s quarters, freehold going concern, Qualmark 4.5 stars, in Host Accommodation Group, seismic rating 80% of new building standard
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Paul Dixon, Daniel Moffitt & Carolyn Hanson

Attribution: Company release.

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Accor to run Chows’ Rotorua hotel

NZAX-listed property company Chow Group Ltd’s management company, CGML Ltd, has awarded the management contract for its Rotorua hotel to AccorHotels.

CGML bought the 30-year-old, 10-storey, 8000m² office Zens Centre at 1135 Arawa St in 2015 and is converting it into a 130-room hotel.

Director John Chow (pictured in front of the building with mayor Steve Chadwick) said it would carry a 5-star brand. Work on architectural plans has started and the conversion should start in July. It’s expected to open at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

AccorHotels already operates a Novotel in Rotorua and the ibis Rotorua Lakeside.

Ms Chadwick said the retail & tourism sectors were doing extremely well in Rotorua and its economy was performing above the national average: “Rotorua is growing & thriving. Our population now exceeds 70,000 and continues to grow, and unemployment is dropping. It’s important that we continue to build on these positive achievements, and projects such as the Chow Group’s new upscale hotel are critical to our success, improving our tourism infrastructure and creating work opportunities.”

Attribution: Company release.

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12 Total Property auction sales south of Auckland

All 6 properties in Bayleys’ third Wellington Total Property auction for the year were sold under the hammer on Thursday, and another 6 on the Coromandel, Waikato & Rotorua were sold.

South of the Bombays


243 Colville Rd (pictured above):
Features: Shelly Beach campground, 5.0627ha beachfront site operating under Top 10 Holiday Park brand, 5km from Coromandel township, comprising a variety of camping facilities plus manager’s accommodation & house
Outcome: sold as freehold going concern for $3 million
Agents: Josh Smith & Belinda Sammons


458 Pollen St:
Features: 2836m2 mainstreet site, Mitre 10 the anchor occupant, 1659m2 of buildings earthquake strengthened to over 67% of new building standard, various lease terms to Mitre 10 running to 2021 with renewal rights, plus small upstairs office lease to Home IT Solutions
Rent: $145,500/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $2.165 million at a 6.7% yield.
Agents: Josh Smith & Mary Walker



81 Pururu St:
Features: 1012m2 industrial site, large yard area, 471m2 high-stud warehouse & office building previously split into 2 tenancies
Outcome: sold vacant for $401,000
Agents: Mark Slade & Brei Gudsell



56 Grey St:
Features: 9800m² site, 1150m² ex-bulk petfood-processing facility
Outcome: sold vacant for $1.2 million
Agent: Josh Smith

7 Station Rd:
Features: High-exposure 1062m2 corner site with 900m2 warehouse/factory, ex Lemon & Paeroa bottling plant
Outcome: sold vacant for $420,000
Agent: Josh Smith

Te Awamutu

355 Rickit Rd:
Features: 653m2 road-frontage site, 410m2 building, fully leased to 2 established electrical tenants
Rent: $56,000/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $760,000 at a 7.4% yield
Agents: Alex ten Hove & Mike Swanson



5 Albert St:
Features: strengthened & refurbished 1356m² commercial building, 1006m² of mostly office space leased to Department of Corrections for 9 years from October 2015, 350m² at the front of the building is vacant
Rent: $118,216/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $1.275 million
Agents: Andrew Smith, John Pritchard & Dave Wish


Lower Hutt

444 Cuba St, Lower Hutt.

444 Cuba St:
Features: 1295m² corner site, 300m² rear parking & yard area, high-stud 1100m² refurbished retail building, Hunting & Fishing in occupation for over 20 years, current 6-year lease from October 2014 plus one 4-year right of renewal
Rent: $86,800/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $975,000 at an 8.9% yield
Agent: Mark Sherlock

MacKay House, 92 Queens Drive, level 2:
Features: 326m² office floor needing renovation, in 1960s building adjacent to Queensgate Mall, part leased to 2 tenants, two-thirds vacant
Rent: $31,500/year gross + gst
Outcome: sold for $50,000
Agents: Paul Cudby & Andrew Smith


17 Glover St:
Features: 603m2 business 2-zoned narrow, bare site, 300m2 flat usable area, excavation required for greater footprint, concept plans for 270m2 warehouse
Outcome: sold for $280,000 at $464/m2
Agents: Matt Gibbs & Fraser Press

2 Hartham Place South, Porirua.


2 Hartham Place South:
Features: 380m², 2-level cbd commercial building, tenant parking at rear, ground floor leased to Pacific Radiology, first floor occupied by law firm & physiotherapist with leases until 2019 & 2020 plus rights of renewal
Rent: $50,350/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $712,000 at a 7.1% yield
Agent: Jon Pottinger


108 Main Rd:
Features: 161m² purpose-built dental surgery on 1019m² residentially zoned site with large parking area, 5-year lease to Lumino the Dentist from October 2016, with one 5-year right of renewal
Rent: $33,280/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $582,000 at a 5.72% yield
Agents: Jon Pottinger & Stephen Lange

Attribution: Agency release.

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3 commercial sales at Wairau Valley, Te Rapa & Waikanae

Colliers has reported 3 sales around the North Island – a former gym, now office & warehouse, in the Wairau Valley (pictured) and properties at Te Rapa outside Hamilton and Waikanae outside Wellington.


Wairau Valley

6 Target Court:
Features: 3265m² industrial site, 1182m² floor area, originally a gym, now an office & warehouse, 28 parking spaces
Rent: $214,399/year net + gst holding income until 30 November from departing tenant
Outcome: asking $3.37 million, sold for $3.2 million + gst at a 6.7% yield
Agents: Nick Recordon, Matt Prentice & Jimmy O’Brien

South of the Bombays


Te Rapa

4 Maui St:
Features: 2317m² site at the corner Church Rd, occupied by the Cock & Bull bar, 36% site coverage, 47 parking spaces
Rent: $242,000/year net + gst, new 6-year lease from April 2016
Outcome: sold for $3.26 million + gst
Agents: Alan Pracy  Justin Oliver, with a referral from Jolyon Thomson &  Ben Cockram



3 Omahi St:
Features: 917m² site, 393m² office & retail, 10 parking spaces
Outcome: sold for $1.39 million + gst at a 6.98% yield
Agents: Dean Anderson

Attribution: Agency release.

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4 commercial sales for Colliers

Colliers has recorded 4 sales at Mangere, Papamoa and in Hawke’s Bay.



221 Ihumatao Rd:
Features: 12,432m² commercial site
Outcome: sold for $4,844,970 + gst
Agent: Ash Vincent

South of the Bombays

Bay of Plenty


7 Twin Oak Avenue:
Features: 3007m² childcare centre
Outcome: sold at auction for $2.3 million + gst at a 5.64% yield
Agents: Grant White, Simon Clark & Rob Shoeser

Hawke’s Bay


100 Heretaunga St West:
Features: 3254m² retail investment property
Outcome: sold for $6.1 million at a 9.35% yield
Agent: Danny Blair

Havelock North

11 Donnelly St:
Features: 490m² commercial property
Outcome: sold for $1.135 million, at a 5.9% yield
Agents: Dan Walker & Danny Blair

Attribution: Agency release.

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7 Total Property sales down country

Bayleys made 7 sales in its Total Property Auctions south of Auckland last week – 3 in the Waikato, 3 in Wellington and one in Christchurch, a building beside the Avon on Cambridge Terrace (pictured).

South of the Bombays


Te Aroha

164 Whitaker St:
Features: 1474m2 corner site opposite clock tower in commercial precinct, 983m2 building, NZ Post occupies rear space, 2 larger streetfront premises are vacant
Rent: $10,840/year net + gst holding income, potential to increase to $50-60,000/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $505,000
Agent: Josh Smith

Te Rapa

25 Sheffield St:
Features: 3145m² site, 2154m² industrial building, 3 gantry cranes & secure yard, leaseback holding income to October 2018 with opportunities for subdivision or development
Rent: $157,725/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $2.25 million at a 7.01% yield
Agents: Mike Swanson (Bayleys) & Theo de Leeuw (NAI Harcourts)


15-17 Main Rd:
Features: 1058m2 State Highway 1 site, 6 retail units totalling 500m² and 80m² flat, 65m² of vacant space, 6 offstreet parking spaces
Rent: $60,745/year gross
Outcome: sold for $540,000
Agents: Alex ten Hove & Mike Swanson



55 Kaiwharawhara Rd:
Features: 408m² of vacant land zoned commercial/industrial
Outcome: sold for $450,000 at $1102/m²
Agents: Fraser Press & Matt Gibbs


20 Main Rd:
Features: 419m² retail unit occupied by Creative Curtains for over 18 years, lease renewed for 8 years
Rent: $58,000/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $750,000 at a 7.73% yield
Agents: Mark Walker, Jon Pottinger & Grant Young


6 Queen St:
Features: 290m² 2-level building previously occupied by Westpac Bank, ground-floor retail space & offices above, 2 parking spaces, potential rent of $28,540/year net + gst
Outcome: sold with vacant possession for $440,000
Agents: Paul Cudby & Andrew Smith

South Island


Christchurch cbd

61 Cambridge Terrace:
Features: 682m² site overlooking the Avon River, 5-level Miles Warren-designed 914m² boutique office building, partly occupied by 5 tenants, 231m² level 3 & 64m² penthouse vacant
Rent: $189,672/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $2.285 million
Agents: George Phillips & Angela Webb

Attribution: Agency release.

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10 sell at Bayleys’ commercial auction

9 properties were sold under the hammer and one post-auction of the 17 in Bayleys’ commercial auction yesterday. Another 3 were sold prior.

[Today’s report is short on some detail.]


Learning Quarter

5 Eden Crescent, units A & B:
Features: 600m² strata title, renovated, licensed karaoke bar & restaurant
Rent: $161,000/year net + gst
Outcome: passed in at $2.5 million
Agents: Oscar Kuang & Nicolas Ching

Queen St

239 Queen St, unit 1A:
Features: new 12-year lease
Rent: $150,657/year net + gst
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agents: Quinn Ngo & James Chan

Isthmus east


38 Eaglehurst Rd, unit 7:
Features: warehouse
Outcome: declared reserve of $600,000, sold for $800,000
Agents: Andrew Wallace & Cameron Melhuish


206 Manukau Rd:
Features: 898m² corner section,
Rent: $67,340/year holding income
Outcome: passed in at $3.55 million
Agents: Owen Ding & James Chan

Mission Bay

2 Atkin Avenue, unit 1:
Features: 374m² site zoned mixed use (up to 18m) under unitary plan, 3-bedroom unit, garage
Outcome: sold for$1.955 million
Agents: Phil Haydock & Angela Yang


18 George Terrace:
Features: 342m² site zoned mixed use, warehouse, office, amenities
Outcome: sold for $1.072 million
Agents: James Valintine & William Gubb

4 Newsome St:
Features: 493m², permissible height 20m
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Tony Chaudhary & James Valintine


100 Queens Rd:
Features: town centre zone under unitary plan
Rent: $121,000/year net + gst
Outcome: passed in at $1.6 million
Agents: Mark Pittaway

Isthmus west

Eden Terrace

12 Fleet St:
Features: 336m² site
Rent: $52,260/year
Outcome: sold prior at declared reserve of $1.25 million
Agents: James Were & Scott Kirk

Mt Roskill

439 Mt Albert Rd:
Features: corner site, 4-bedroom home, internal garage, 3 commercial tenancies on ground floor
Outcome: auction postponed
Agents: Phil Haydock & Angela Yang


91 College Hill:
Features: 337m² site zoned mixed use, 275m² gross floor area, 5 secure parking spaces
Outcome: sold for $2,577,500
Agents: Nigel McNeill & Meredith Graham


513 Sandringham Rd:
Features: retail + refurbished 3-bedroom flat
Rent: $88,060/year
Outcome: sold for $1.75 million
Agents: Scott Kirk & Damien Bullick



44 Akoranga Drive:
Features: 946m² corner site, mixed use zone next to AUT
Outcome: sold for $2.5 million
Agents: Michael Nees & Simon Aldridge


6 & 6A Blomfield Spa:
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agents: Simon Aldridge & David Huang

Wairau Valley

170 Wairau Rd, unit 18:
Features: Hell Pizza on long-term lease
Rent: $54,000/year net + gst + outgoings
Outcome: sold for $990,000
Agents: Paul Dixon & Tony Chaudhary



3 Bancroft Crescent:
Features: 3584m² site, long-term tenant, 6-year lease term with renewal rights
Rent: $225,000/year net + gst
Outcome: passed in at $2.775 million
Agents: Dave Stanley & Stuart Bode

New Lynn

3019 Great North Rd & 2 Bentinck St:
Features: 1459m² corner site in 2 titles, vacant possession
Outcome: passed in at $1.625 million at $1114/m²
Agents: Mike Adams & Scott Kirk


Botany Downs

286 Cascades Rd:
Features: 7493m² site opposite Pakuranga golfcourse, 70m frontage to Cascades Rd
Outcome: sold for $6.1 million
Agents: Dave Stanley & Graeme Sun

Botany South

Bishopsgate business centre, 2 Bishop Dunn Place, unit 32:
Features: 134m² first-floor office, storage, 2 parking spaces
Outcome: sold for $465,000
Agents: Geoff Wyatt & Dave Stanley


292 Great South Rd:
Features: 2209m² site, standalone office & warehouse building anchored by long-term office lease + 2 warehouse tenants
Rent: $152,592/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $2.68 million
Agents: Sunil Bhana & Peter Migounoff

South of the Bombays


412 Gladstone Rd:
Features: 670m² store, seismic rating 100% new building standard, 6-year lease term
Rent: $122,569/year
Outcome: passed in at $1.5 million, sold post-auction for $1.52 million at an 8% yield
Agents: Paul Garland & Colin McNab

Attribution: Auction.

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Corrected: Ellerslie development site & Freemans Bay apartments site sell

Corrected 13 April 2017:
A development site on the Ellerslie side of the Ellerslie-Panmure motorway roundabout (pictured) has been sold by Colliers agents at $880/m², and a site in Freemans Bay has been sold with consent for 29 apartments in place. The size of the Hargreaves St site and an agent’s name have been corrected.

Isthmus east


43 Wilkinson Rd:
Features: 4547m² commercial development site, consent in place for an office development comprising over 6000m² of lettable floor space plus 140 parking spaces
Outcome: sold for $4 million, at $880/m²
Agents: Gareth Fraser, Kris Ongley & Charlie Oscroft

Isthmus west

Freemans Bay

Corrected: 25 Hargreaves St:
Features: 1219m² mixed use site with consent for 29 apartments, 4 retail units & 33 parking spaces
Rent: $241,341.27/year + gst net current from several tenants, vacant possession available with 6 months’ notice
Outcome: sold for $5.4 million + gst
Agents: Kris Ongley (Colliers) & Scott Kirk (Bayleys)

South of the Bombays

Manawatu – Palmerston North

433-441 Rangitikei St:
Features: 1.32ha heavy industrial site, floor area 2727m²
Rent: holding income $305,000/year
Outcome: sold for $2.8 million
Agents: Grant Lloyd, Phil Nevill & Doug Russell

Attribution: Agency release.

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Hamilton council seeks buyer to take innovation park to next stage

Hamilton City Council has hired Deloitte to look for an investor to take over its Waikato Innovation Park Ltd subsidiary, 17 months after getting a masterplan done for its expansion.

The innovation park has 46 tenants working in 4 buildings on 17ha leased from Waikato-Tainui commercial arm Tainui Group Holdings Ltd at Ruakura, and the masterplan Beca Ltd produced for the council in November 2015 projected growth from the present $25 million value to another 12 buildings & $180 million value in 20 years.

The park has a workforce of 560, and the masterplan showed how that number could rise to 2500. Gross turnover of businesses at the park rose 42% last year, from $300 million to $427 million, and the park’s operations are self-sufficient, but chief executive Stuart Gordon said the council couldn’t divert from its other infrastructure priorities the investment needed for the park to grow.

The council opened the park in 2004 with the aim of clustering businesses to help drive economic growth by researching & developing technology in the environment, food & beverage, ICT & agritechnology sectors. The council provided $4.4 million in equity, Government grants totalled $9.95 million and the WEL Energy Trust provided $2 million at an early stage. The park company is 100% owned by the council, and it owns 70% of NZ Food Innovation (Waikato) Ltd. Callaghan Innovation owns the other 30% of that venture.

The council provides its innovation park as providing “a dynamic business campus where collaboration between business & research organisations drives commercial growth for our resident companies”.

The park’s immediate neighbours in the Ruakura innovation precinct are AgResearch and the NZ Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, and near-neighbours include Waikato University, Dairy NZ & NIWA (the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research).

Council special projects executive director Blair Bowcott said the council had fulfilled its role of establishing the park and getting it to critical mass, “but now it’s time for us to step out and for someone else to come in.

“We believe the park probably needs a minimum of $10-15 million of equity injection now to grow. Whilst the city could afford that, the city has demands which are of a higher priority.”

The Government has approved selling, and the return will be spread across the council’s core business. Protections have been put in place to prevent the buyer from veering from the masterplan.

“Investors will be buying the park’s assets at the latest independent valuation. They’ll be expected to invest a total of about $70 million over the next 20 years to achieve the park’s growth goals. We’ve contracted Deloitte, who have already been conducting best-fit analysis as part of a robust process to find the right investor.

“We’re looking for investors who can truly visualise the masterplan for the park and will retain the makeup of our tenants who are technology-based, driven by innovation and export-focused.”

Waikato Innovation Park
Masterplan, November 2015

Earlier story:
22 December 2014: Tetra Pak signs up for new Innovation Park HQ

Attribution: Council releases, masterplan.

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Statistics House quake damage prompts standards review

Building & Construction Minister Nick Smith said on Friday design standards & building laws would be reviewed in response to an investigation into structural damage to Statistics House in Wellington in the Kaikoura earthquake on 14 November.

He released an independent panel’s findings into the performance of the building during the quake, which focused on its design & construction and the land influences on it.

The panel found a combination of 4 factors contributed to the partial failure of lower floor segments.

2 of the factors – the flexible frames & style of floor construction – combined with significant shaking for up to 120 seconds, and localised amplification of the shaking, to compromise the support of the lower precast concrete floor units.

The panel also noted that the combination of factors that led to the partial collapse of floor units in Statistics House wasn’t anticipated by the design standards in place when it was built in 2005.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, the Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ) & the institution’s technical societies have produced information for owners & building professionals responsible for assessing & 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.

Performance “unacceptable”

Dr Smith said: “The performance of Statistics House in the Kaikoura earthquake was unacceptable and could have caused fatalities. This quake was large & unusually long, but a modern building like Statistics House should not have had life-threatening structural damage. The building was designed to the industry practice of the time, but this did not fully account for the effects of beam elongation during an earthquake, an issue that was deficient in the concrete structures standard at the time of the design.

“The design flaw is quite specific to highly ductile framed concrete buildings with precast floor slabs, and particularly those with multi-bay frames. We need to follow up on similarly designed buildings through councils & engineering companies so that where it is a problem, it can be rectified. This has already been done in respect of Wellington as a consequence of the preliminary findings in Statistics House, but now needs to be followed up elsewhere.

“We also need to amend the concrete structures standard to ensure newly designed buildings are adequately designed to cope with beam elongation during long-duration earthquakes. This will be done this year.

“A compounding factor was geological basin effects that are not well understood but which have also been observed in other earthquakes internationally. This is not to do with reclaimed land but the amplification of ground shaking in a basin. This phenomenon is similar to the way sea waves respond to a wall in an enclosed bay. This is an area of seismic science that needs further research, particularly in respect of Wellington, and to be considered as part of a review of the earthquake actions standard.

Building law issue

“There is a building law issue that arises from this report on which I have asked officials to report. The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment has limited powers to follow up on design deficiencies like those identified in this report, beyond those specifically provided for following civil emergencies. This means the ministry cannot require building owners to follow up on these sorts of potentially serious technical problems. I have asked the ministry to report on whether additional powers are needed in the Building Act.”

Dr Smith said New Zealand was at the cutting edge of international seismic design standards, but hadn’t yet solved all of the potential ways a building can fail: “Most buildings in Wellington performed well despite the ferocity of the Kaikoura earthquake. We need to take the opportunity following such earthquakes to learn as much as we can and to further strengthen our standards & systems to improve building safety for the future.

“These detailed issues over the performance of modern buildings are important for improving design standards, but they should not divert attention away from the far more significant risk to life of older buildings. The Kaikoura earthquake was sufficiently distant from Wellington that the city did not get the dangerous high frequency shaking that poses the greatest risk to life.

“The largest safety gains for Wellington are to be made in the initiatives requiring unreinforced masonry facades & parapets to be tied back over the next year, and all earthquake-prone buildings under 34% of Building Code to be upgraded under the new law coming into effect on 1 July.”

Statistics House investigation
Framed buildings with precast concrete floor systems

Attribution: Ministry website & ministerial release.

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