Another building in the capital closes for structural repairs

CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

More invasive testing has been ordered for about 80 buildings in Wellington's CBD.

The building used as the New Zealand Fire Service national headquarters has been partly evacuated while structural investigations are carried out.

A number of tenants, including the fire service and the New Zealand Medical Council, decided to remove staff from the central Wellington building on Friday following an engineer's assessment.

The property, 80 The Terrace, is managed by CBRE, and a spokesman for the company said the offer for tenants to leave the building was "purely precautionary".

80 The Terrace closed for structural repairs.
Brad Flahive

80 The Terrace closed for structural repairs.

"We are still investigating the issues that need repair in the building, so we had a chat to the tenants and gave them the option of staying away until Tuesday," the spokesman said.

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"We are still assessing exactly what repair work needs to be done, and there may be some propping up work that will need doing before the tenants get back in.

Wellington office building 80 The Terrace is owned by Mt Everest Properties.
Supplied

Wellington office building 80 The Terrace is owned by Mt Everest Properties.

"There is no risk to the public, and whatever work is carried will be done with the tenants in the property."

Leigh Deuchars of the fire service said they were given verbal advice from the buildings engineers on Thursday that remediation work was required inside the building.

"We are still waiting to receive a full report from the building engineers. In the meantime we are taking a cautious approach and have asked all 279 National Headquarters staff to work from home or remotely as best they can.

"Our ability to respond to emergency incidents is unaffected and the national response to the Port Hills fire is now being supported from Region 3 Headquarters at Wellington City Station."

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The city council previously ordered 80 buildings in Wellington's CBD to do more invasive testing in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake, and 80 The Terrace was one of 18 given an extension for that work.

City council recovery manager Mike Mendonca said: "This is exactly why we undertook this process before Christmas so any problems could be found, and now they have. It's a good result."

The building is owned by Mt Everest Properties Ltd, and in 2015 the building was given an earthquake strengthening award for a retrofit seismic strengthening solution to an office tower.

 - Stuff

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