St Luke’s – Earthquake Strength Rating

In mid 2018 Vestry met with John Cuthbert the Seismic Engineer from Dunning Thornton.  We had commissioned John to give us a report on what it would take to achieve an earthquake strength rating of 67% of the new build standard (NBS) for the church building. John’s analysis confirmed the 2009 assessment that the church building is rated at 40% NBS, which is higher than the Earthquake Prone Threshold of 33% NBS. Therefore from a regulatory perspective this means there is no legal requirement to upgrade the church building within a defined timeframe. 
As requested, John visited the church and looked at all the possible areas for strengthening the building.  He has provided us with a set of specifications and drawings for five areas that he considers would need to be strengthened to achieve the rating we aspire to.  These include (1) strengthening the east facing masonry wall with the big stained glass window, behind the altar (2) bracing the roofing above the transept (where the altar sits and across to the organ)  (3) bracing the brick archway (4) bracing right along both side walls,  and (5) increasing the mass of the foundations for the buttresses along the south wall. 
Vestry has now decided to use these drawings to get a professional estimate of the costs and expected timeframes for the strengthening work. We understand from John that these works may be able to be done together or in distinct phases. The extra information will help us decide when and how to proceed. Any decisions will of course be presented and discussed at an annual general meeting.   
Meantime, if you would like more information or to see a copy of the engineers drawings please contact a member of the Vestry.

26 July 2018


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