Case study in quake strengthening

00:01, Jul 12 2012
Black Sheep Design
EXAMPLE: Feilding building owners are presented with an example of earthquake-strengthening work Black Sheep Design's building in Palmerston North.

Feilding heritage building owners considering earthquake-strengthening measures for their properties have had a close look at how it was done in Palmerston North.

Co-owner of the heritage building that houses Black Sheep Design, Stacey Cottrill, threw open the doors of her business to give her Feilding counterparts a picture of what an earthquake-strengthened structure built in the 1920s looked like.

"It was kind of like having the worst house on the best street, but we're chuffed with what we ended up with," Mrs Cottrill said.

Feilding Promotion organised the meeting to learn about the cost and timeframe for strengthening, amid negotiations with the Manawatu District Council about the town's heritage buildings, which owners were required to either strengthen or demolish in line with quake safety standards.

Paul Humphries of Humphries Construction has worked on the building alongside e3 Architects and QB Systems engineering consultants.

He said in the case of Black Sheep Design, the Cottrills had spent about $320,000 to $350,000 strengthening their building over a four-month period ending this May.


The team had investigated the cost of gutting the building and starting from scratch and estimated it would have cost up to 25 per cent more to demolish and then rebuild.

Mr Humphries said building owners could expect to pay roughly $1500 per square metre to strengthen, including the cost of contractors and building consents.

The building had originally been owned by a plumbing outfit, and the original signage was revealed during the retrofit process.

Feilding building owners were shown that the interior could be fully refurbished in keeping with original character.

The blended heritage and contemporary result was visually striking, with aged weatherboards and exposed brickwork housing original steel doors set on rollers.

The open plan and high ceilings were retained, strengthened by wooden rafters that were steel-braced.

The building, which had been listed by the Palmerston North City Council as at risk of earthquake damage, was vacant when the Cottrills purchased it.

It had now been strengthened to 67 per cent of the current building code and retrofitted too, with tints added to the stained glass windows in the facade.

Manawatu Standard