Quake strengthening goes without hitch

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 08:34 21/05/2012

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The seismic strengthening of the former Stirling Sports building on the corner of Maxwell Rd and Main St, Blenheim, is complete.

Blenheim construction company TH Barnes did the work and is continuing with additional work and refitting the premises for SBS Blenheim.

The work is expected to be finished by early July.

The building was identified by the Marlborough District Council as earthquake-prone. The ground floor and first floor of the two- storey building are owned by Greg Hall of Blenheim.

Blenheim engineering firm Smart Alliances Ltd designed the solution to bring the building back up to code.

TH Barnes construction manager John Tovey said the work was complex but had gone according to plan.

"Smart Alliance did a good job coming up with a practical solution to work with, so it has been reasonably straightforward, but time consuming because we are working around the public," he said.

Steel braces have been bolted on to the interior columns where they meet the concrete slab above, to prevent it from moving around in a big earthquake.

Exterior walls and windows were removed for the installation of pre-fabricated steel portals, each weighing 1.5 tonnes. They were slotted into place on the ground with a forklift and on the first floor with a crane, he said.

Each of the four beams was fitted on different mornings before people started work. The new support beams are visible on the outside of the building.

Mr Tovey said the additional fire rating work and other alterations to the building would be finished by the end of the month, before they fit out the store for SBS Blenheim, who are relocating early in July.

The building was built in 1978, but designed in 1975, a year before the 1976 loading code was in introduced in New Zealand.

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- The Marlborough Express

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