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News Release

Extra Protection for Women and Children. ( See Picture)

19 July 2002

A new Women's & Children's Hospital is being built in Canterbury, New Zealand, for Canterbury Health Ltd, with a higher level of protection against damage and loss of functionality in the event of a natural disaster in the form of an earthquake, flood or storm.

It is expected that this hospital will continue to provide health care services to the community during and after a natural disaster, when there will be a greater demand for these services.

The new hospital will provide acute and essential services to the community, and will include a Day Surgery and Outpatients Unit. This requires that the building be designed for greater seismic loads than non essential buildings and normal buildings.

Thus this hospital building will be base isolated by constructing it on lead rubber bearings to provide significant additional protection to the building and it's contents and occupants in a moderate to large earthquake.

Earthquake Engineering NZ cluster member Holmes Consulting Group are providing the structural engineering design and project management services for this project.

The building has 10 floor levels, including a basement, lower ground floor level, a plant room at level 6, and an additional plant room at level 7 to contain cooling towers, chillers, generator and water storage tanks.

It is constructed of reinforced concrete seismic resisting beams and columns to the perimeter of the building and gravity beams and columns within the building. An internal steel K-braced frame provides some lateral earthquake resistance across the building.

This super-structure is supported on a thick basement raft foundation slab and is isolated from it with lead rubber bearings located immediately below the lower ground floor. This provides a significantly greater level of earthquake protection, to allow the hospital to remain functioning after a natural disaster. Lead rubber bearings were invented and developed in New Zealand by Dr Bill Robinson of Robinson Seismic Limited.

The hospital building is rectangular in plan with a facetted west end and angled east end.

For further information, contact:

Bill Gordon
Chief Executive Officer
Holmes Consulting Group


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