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Istanbul Seismic Risk and Emergency Preparedness project (ISMEP)

16 May 2008

New Zealand engineers provide more support for Istanbul Seismic Risk and Emergency Preparedness project (ISMEP)

EENZ member Beca International Consultants is assisting Turkish consulting engineers Prota to undertake an earthquake strengthening study for 200 public buildings (mainly schools) in Istanbul.

This World Bank funded project for the Governorship Special Provincial Administration ( is also assisting to establish new design guidelines for earthquake assessment and strengthening of public buildings in Istanbul.

Beca's Director of Earthquake Engineering, Dr Richard Sharpe said that "Schools are a vital part of communities. Being chosen with our Turkish partner Prota to undertake this important project in Istanbul builds on our substantive feasibility study of the earthquake strengthening of 369 multi-storey apartment buildings in the Istanbul municipality of Bakirköy in 2005."

New Zealand's expertise in earthquake strengthening is particularly relevant to the highly susceptible buildings in Istanbul. The specialist team from New Zealand also includes prominent Beca structural engineer Rob Jury.

There is a very high probability that Istanbul will be severely shaken within the next 25 years as the North Anatolian fault continues its 250-year cycle of unzipping from east to west.

There has been a major earthquake strengthening programme for schools throughout New Zealand over the last twenty years with most of this work now completed. New Zealand recently introduced pioneering legislation requiring all existing buildings to be assessed for seismic resilience, and those not meeting a minimum standard to be strengthened or demolished.

New Zealand engineers have the experience and insights necessary to develop practical retrofit solutions.

"Anyone who has visited the site of a devastating earthquake soon after the event appreciates that quite modest attention to good design and construction practices vastly improves the resilience of structures to earthquakes. Our partners in Turkey are clearly the best in their field in their country, and we look forward to a continuing association with them," says Dr Richard Sharpe.

Beca is a leading member of the Earthquake Engineering New Zealand (EENZ) business cluster who are strongly supported by local and central government organisations including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in marketing New Zealand's earthquake engineering expertise internationally. Both the Istanbul earthquake strengthening projects were won in the face of strong international competition.

Other EENZ cluster members who have worked on projects in Turkey include Robinson Seismic, GNS Science, Holmes Consulting Group and David Hopkins Consulting. Robinson Seismic have recently supplied lead rubber bearings for the seismic isolation of the roof of a new, very large, aircraft maintenance hanger at Istanbul's Sabiha Göken airport.

Dr Richard Sharpe, Director of Earthquake Engineering, Beca
Phone +64 4 471 5506


More information on the Beca group can be found on and on the Earthquake Engineering NZ business cluster at

The Beca group is one of Asia-Pacific's most respected and leading professional services organisations, specialising in the design and management of projects. From prestigious landmark developments, to functional and environmentally sustainable projects, Beca's repertoire is broad. As a multi-disciplinary organisation, BECA has the capability to work in a diverse range of sectors. Beca employees number over 2000, and they have operated in more than 60 countries worldwide. With such a spread of resource, Beca can tap into a rich pool of specialist knowledge and experience. Beca works closely with their clients with a view to delivering award-winning solutions as a single collaborative team.

The Beca group is an employee-owned company, focused on providing their clients with independent and impartial advice. They are committed to building strong and lasting relationships by responding to the needs and aspirations of their clients and their communities. Internationally, the Beca group operates out of three main hubs (New Zealand, Australia and Singapore) within the Oceania and South-East Asia regions. Beca has a registered branch office in Turkey.


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