How long will it take for decisions to be made and work to be done?
The length of time it will take to repair or make another decision about a facility will depend on the type of facility, the level of damage and the assessment and insurance process. Decisions for one site must take place within the context of all 1600 Council-owned facilities across the city and in Banks Peninsula.
Due to the large number of buildings owned by the Council and the limited number of engineers, quantity surveyors and other staff available, it will take until mid 2013 to complete full engineering assessments of non-residential facilities. Detailed Engineering Evaluations on social housing facilities will be completed in 2014.
All major decisions about a facility must be made by elected members. They will be presented with a full report, which includes recommendations from Council staff, about a building.
Some repair work to facilities has already been completed, allowing them to re-open to the public.
Facilities to be repaired and re-open include:
Fendalton Library and Service Centre, corner Clyde and Jeffreys Road
The Curator’s House and YHA Rolleston House in Rolleston Avenue
Cowles Stadium in Aranui
Four paddling pools – New Brighton Whale Pool, Christchurch Botanic Gardens Paddling Pool, Abberley Park Paddling Pool in St Albans and Woodham Park Paddling Pool in Linwood
Poseidon Café (now called Beach Bar) in Sumner, Sumner Esplanade
South Library and Beckenham Service Centre, Colombo Street (temporary repairs)
Lyttelton Visitor and Information Centre and toilet
St Albans Edu-care Centre, Mairehau
Coronation Library, Akaroa
Some Social Housing units
Due to the size of the project, decision making and investigations into a building is occurring in stages. Repairs and rebuilding will occur to some facilities as investigations into other buildings and decision-making about them continues.
In September 2012, the Council agreed that 30 projects should be prioritised for funding, further investigations and, where possible, repairs. This includes progressing engineering assessments, discussions with insurers and, looking at repair and strengthening options or, in some cases, seeking approval to demolish a building.
A draft prioritised programme for the non-residential facilities in the Facilities Rebuild Plan project that are not included in the Council’s priority 30 list of facilities was approved by the Council on 6 December 2012. This list, which has had community board input, prioritises the order in which investigations will be done on a facility, which will in turn help to inform decisions made about it. The prioritised list does not set out when a facility will be repaired or other work carried out. See the list here.
Are the Council buildings that are currently open safe?
All buildings that are considered to be ‘high risk’ are currently closed. Council facilities are currently being prioritised for DEE assessments according to a risk-based profiling approach endorsed by the Engineering Advisory Group Committee. Now that Council-owned buildings are undergoing more Detailed Engineering Evaluations it is possible that these will show a building has more damage than identified in earlier engineering assessments.
Factors that are taken into account include:
Recommendations made as part of a Level Two Rapid Assessment
The age of a building
The material with which it is constructed
The number of people using the building
The type and duration of building use
Whether it is likely to be an earthquake-prone building.
Following the September and February earthquakes, Level Two Rapid Assessments or an equivalent assessment were carried out on buildings. As part of a Level Two Rapid Assessment, an engineer carries out a visual inspection of the inside and outside of a building and checks it for any obvious structural damage. Land damage is also noted. After the 13 June 2011 earthquake, this level of assessment was carried out on buildings with identified damage.
Will Council-owned buildings be expected to meet the New Building Standard (NBS)?
As part of the DEE process, buildings will be measured against the New Building Standard. Recommendations will be made to the Council around the cost of repairing a building to 34 per cent, 67 per cent or 100 per cent of the new building code, where possible.
If a DEE shows that the non-residential building has a capacity of 34 per cent or less of the NBS, it will be closed. Buildings with a capacity between 34 per cent and 66 per cent can be occupied where engineering advice confirms that there is a moderate to low risk. This assessment is made on a case-by-case basis. Buildings with a capacity of 67 per cent or greater can be used without restriction.
What will happen to the buildings that are part of this Facilities Rebuild Plan?
There are a number of possible scenarios: a building is repaired to the same level; a building is repaired to a higher standard; a building is demolished and replaced with the same type of facility; a building is demolished and replaced with a different facility or a building is demolished and not replaced.
Will I have a say in what happens to a facility?
A lot of public consultation has already occurred as part of the Central City Plan and other key Council strategies around its facilities and the services provided there. We are committed to keeping the public informed about decisions made about a facility. There is likely to be some public consultation for some of the major facilities.
How much is this expected to cost?
This is unclear at this stage of the project. The Council has insurance in place to cover repairs to a building where there is earthquake damage.
Council is estimating $274 million will be the cost of reinstating these facilities. The cost of improving or strengthening Council facilities above their pre-earthquake strength comes on top of this and we're also budgeting for this.
Does the Council have enough insurance to cover all its buildings?
Council insurance will cover earthquake damage but it will not cover any strengthening a building requires to meet the New Building Standards (NBS) to 34 per cent and also will not cover any betterment or improvements.
Before the earthquakes, the Council’s assets were insured for close to $1.9 billion on a full re-instatement basis per asset.
This was based on advice from professional valuers. The gap between insurance and rebuild costs is the extra cost required to make our buildings meet 100 per cent of the New Building Standards (NBS) and to introduce improvements. Unlike open-ended replacement household insurance, our facilities were covered to a set value based on repairs to 33 per cent of the NBS.
We want to make sure our major community facilities – where children, families, residents and visitors work and play – are strong, safe and reliable.
What is a Detailed Engineering Evaluation (DEE)?
The DEE process has been developed by the Engineering Advisory Group, and supported by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), to assess existing buildings following recent earthquakes.
The DEE process requires a more detailed analysis of a building’s structure to gain an understanding of the damage that a building has sustained; the cause of the damage and the overall impact on the performance or capacity of the building to withstand future earthquakes or significant aftershocks. This is expressed as a percentage of the New Building Standard (NBS). DEE assessments also include recommendations for future repair or earthquake strengthening work.
These assessments can take a number of months and engineers may employ a number of techniques, including invasive tests such as removing wall cladding or ceiling linings.
DEE assessments are divided into two parts – Qualitative and Quantitative Assessments.
For more information, see the Engineering Assessment Document [PDF 400KB]
Why is the Council carrying out Detailed Engineering Evaluations (DEEs)?
The Council is carrying out DEE assessments on its buildings to help it determine the level of damage a building has sustained and a building’s capacity to withstand future earthquakes. DEE asessment results also help to make decisions about whether a bulding should remain open. These assessments will inform discussions with the Council’s insurers and, along with a full damage assessment, help the Council to make decisions about the future of a building.
How has the Council determined the order in which assessments will be carried out on its facilities?
Buildings are being prioritised for assessment according to a set of weighted criteria. To see the criteria, click here. Three different categories have been taken into consideration in the prioritisation process. The ‘occupancy’ category takes into consideration factors such as the type and number of people using the building and the length of time the building is occupied. The ‘use’ category considers what the building is used for, for example this could be a critical activity for the Council or the building could have be of significant value to the community. The ‘physical attribute’ category takes into account a number of factors such as the age of the building, the material with which it is made, its heritage significance, and the size/complexity of the building. This category also notes the type of damage a building has incurred.
Buildings that meet a combination of the criteria will be the first to be assessed. It will take longer for those who meet fewer criteria to be assessed. A wide range of Council staff have had input into this assessment programme, including chartered engineers and facility managers. Councillors have also had input and community boards will have the opportunity for input during March and April.
How much will these assessments cost to undertake?
The two-year programme of work is expected to cost about $6 to $7 million. This will be mainly funded by insurance where a building has structural damage and where there is a successful insurance claim. If a building does not have structural damage, the Council will pay for it to be assessed.
Does an engineering assessment need to be completed before repairs can begin on a building?
As a DEE assessment gives a more accurate picture of the type of damage a building has sustained, it does not make sense to begin significant repairs until this level of assessment is completed.
What steps must occur before a Council building is repaired?
To make sure the right decisions are being made, the Council needs to follow a rigorous process and this takes some time to complete. Staff need to gather all the information about a building to make a recommendation to Councillors. Councillors make all the final decisions about a building.
All Council buildings have already undergone a Level Two Rapid Assessment – a visual assessment of the inside and outside of a building- or an equivalent assessment. All buildings have also now undergone, or are undergoing, Detailed Engineering Evaluations or DEEs. The DEE provides a more detailed picture of the building’s structure, earthquake damage and assesses its ability to withstand future aftershocks. This is expressed as a percentage of the New Building Standards (NBS). Once this evaluation comes in, the Council reassesses if a building can remain open/closed in line with its occupancy criteria.
Then comes a full damage assessment. This details the damage to the building and what steps need to be taken to repair it. This information is used in discussions with the Council’s insurers to come to an agreed position about a building. At this point it may become apparent that a building is damaged beyond economic repair.
Next the Council progresses to a conceptual repair strategy which includes options for repair and strengthening the building to meet NBS as required. The options for repair are costed.
At this point the report is tabled for the Community, Recreation and Culture Committee (CRaC) which makes a recommendation to Council. Councillors make the final decisions on any building.
Following Council approval, a detailed repair and strengthening plan is developed by a builder.
At this stage, if a consent is required, the Council lodges one and, once issued, the repair works can begin.
Click here for a visual flow-chart of this repair process.