Thursday, December 1, 2011

Earthquake engineers on the hotseat


Two engineers testified this week about their inspections of the Pyne Gould building at an ongoing probe into building failures during the Feb. 22 Christchurch earthquake, which killed 182 people. The engineers acknowledged that during their inspections, they never looked at building plans or a report that detailed the structure’s vulnerability.

It turns out this building had the seismic capacity of Christmas tinsel, but that wasn't their job.  They were just looking for structural weakening.  If you know that a building is going to pancake at 30 cm/s, what do you do?  Nobody has ever red-tagged a building, based on seismic capacity alone.  It is always mucked up with 'living history' observations, such as we get for Toronto -  "We don't get no stinkin' earthquakes!".

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