Work continues on top floors of Harbour Quays

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 05:00 30/06/2014
BNZ centreport

POSSIBLE RATEPAYER RISK: The quake-damaged BNZ Harbour Quays building, a CentrePort commercial property development underwritten by Wellington regional ratepayers.

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Work fixing the BNZ Harbour Quays building will not be completed until October - 15 months after it was put out of action by last July's magnitude 6.5 earthquake.

The timeline for the work has been outlined in the minutes of a recent meeting of parties involved in the project including BNZ, CentrePort, Fletcher Construction, Beca engineering and Jasmax architects.

Serious damage was caused to services in the top floors on two of the building's three piers where poorly secured air conditioning ducts and pipes broke loose and ceilings collapsed on to desks.

Nobody was hurt as the earthquake struck on a Sunday, but water cascaded through the building, soaking carpets, electric wiring and office equipment.

The 1200 BNZ staff who worked in the building had to move out to other premises, and although most have returned, work is still to be completed on the top floors.

New steel braces are needed to secure the ceilings and all the overhead plumbing, wiring and fittings and gas pipes in the building's plant room also need more bracing.

Sources have told The Dominion Post that seismic restraints on many of the building services were non-compliant. Recent quakes have raised concerns that there could be similar problems with many other buildings.

The Insurance Council told a parliamentary select committee earlier this year that insurers, engineers, building owners and tenants have learnt there appears to have been very little compliance with seismic bracing standards.

BNZ chief risk officer Renee Roberts last year estimated that the total bill for repairs, equipment write-offs and the relocation of Harbour Quays staff could reach $10 million.

No update on that figure was available from the bank last week.

CentrePort, which developed the building for BNZ, declined to comment and referred questions back to the BNZ.

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- The Dominion Post

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