Visiting engineer shocked at demolition numbers

  • 30/08/2011

By Jessica Rowe

A Japanese earthquake engineer visiting Christchurch is shocked at the number of buildings being demolished in the CBD.

Earthquake engineer Dr Kit Miyamoto has been surveying the damage to the Christchurch CBD and says many of the buildings set to be demolished can be saved for less than 40 percent of the replacement cost.

About 600 buildings in the central city are to be demolished, with 179 already bowled.

Mr Miyamoto believes the majority of what is left should be repaired.

“These Heritage buildings really give the culture and history, and these buildings should be preserved, as many as possible and technically it isn't very difficult,” he says.

Mr Miyamoto specialises in global disaster relief and has worked in Haiti, New Orleans and San Francisco.

He says there are many cost effective methods to strengthen buildings including dampers, cross bracing and base isolators.

“I think it is really important to repair and retrofit this downtown as soon as possible, and also reduce the so called amount of vacant lot,” he says.

Building owner Roland Logan has been working on strengthening his quake weakened building since February.

He says there are many more like his which could easily be saved, and the Government has acted too quickly.

“They never had a plan before the earthquake and really I don't know what they are doing basically… there is a sort of kneejerk reaction to everything and there doesn't seem to be any proper direction,” says Mr Logan.

CERA demolition manager Warwick Issacs refutes such claims.

“No I don't believe it is [a knee jerk reaction], what we do is we have an imperative to get the red zone open,” he says.

“However, in order to open it quickly we need to make decisions.”

Mr Miyamoto says the large scale demolition in the CBD will make it difficult to attract new investors, affecting the city's economy and prolonging recovery.

3 News 

source: newshub archive