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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
Dunedin from signal hill..

Edgar Centre seismic strengthening

The Dunedin City Council will be carrying our seismic strengthening work at the Edgar Centre in 2019. However, we have no immediate concerns about the safety of the public or users of the facility, and have decided to keep the facility open and operating in the meantime.

Rippa Rugby wide view at Edgar Centre.

Overview

You may have seen media coverage recently about the Edgar Centre being an “earthquake prone” building.

This description has understandably caused some public concern about the Edgar Centre and whether it is safe to use in its current state.

In short, yes, it is safe. Under normal, day to day conditions, the Edgar Centre is as safe now as it has always been.

Earthquake prone buildings are not the same as dangerous buildings. A dangerous building would have been closed by the Dunedin City Council.

As the building owner, we, the DCC, want to reassure you that the Edgar Centre is a not a dangerous building. We have no immediate concerns about the safety of the public or users of the facility.

However, the building does have some issues relating to seismic strengthening – what you do to modify a building to make it more resistant to seismic activity, like ground motion caused by an earthquake. We are working with the Dunedin Indoor Sports Venues Trust (which governs the Edgar Centre) and Edgar Centre management to address these issues as efficiently as possible.

The current situation

Two detailed structural assessments of the Edgar Centre have been carried out. They found that some parts of the facility are earthquake prone.

Again, it is important to remember that this does not mean the building is dangerous. There is no greater risk to users of the facility than there was before the assessments were carried out.

The assessments also found that there has been consolidation settlement of the building. This means the floor levels have changed over time. The ground conditions causing the settlement issues are unrelated to the earthquake prone rating for the building. We plan to address these issues following seismic strengthening work.

  • Updates

    March 2019

    Structural strengthening of the Edgar Centre is underway and should be complete around the middle of the year. Work has started in the Woolstore part of the building, which is the large courts complex.

    We are working with the Dunedin Indoor Sports Venues Trust (which governs the Edgar Centre) and Edgar Centre management to minimise disruptions while the work is carried out. The centre is remaining open during the work, but centre users are likely to notice some extra noise and activity. The roof and walls will have additional bracing added, starting from one end of the building and working up to the other so that only a small number of courts need to be taken out of service at a time.

    Design work for strengthening of the amenities building and the MoreFM arena is nearing completion and a programme for construction will then be developed.

    June 2018

    Both assessments done on the Edgar Centre identified solutions to bring the building above the standard where it would no longer be tagged as earthquake-prone.

    Designs are being done right now, so we can plan to modify the building. The actual onsite work will be done in 2019. We will be working with the Dunedin Indoor Sports Venues Trust (which governs the Edgar Centre) and Edgar Centre management to minimise disruptions while the work is carried out.

    You can keep up to date with the progress on this page once the work gets underway.

  • Edgar Centre –  What does ‘earthquake prone’ mean?

    Earthquake prone is a description now heard often to describe a building. In short, an earthquake prone building is one that would benefit from strengthening or reinforcing work to make it more resistant to the effects of an earthquake.

    Following the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, a new national system for managing earthquake-prone buildings has been developed and came into effect in 2017. The system focuses on the most vulnerable buildings in terms of people’s safety in the event of an earthquake.

    The new system categorises New Zealand into three earthquake risk areas – low, medium and high – and sets timeframes for identifying and taking action to strengthen buildings.

    In Dunedin, which has a low earthquake risk, the DCC has 15 years to identify potentially earthquake-prone buildings and then property owners will have 35 years to carry out the seismic strengthening work.

  • Edgar Centre – Our decision to stay open

    You may have seen that councils in other parts of the country have closed earthquake prone facilities to the public until earthquake strengthening work is carried out. Each council has to weigh up different risk factors in reaching these decisions.

    Given the low level of earthquake risk here in Dunedin, we have decided along with the Dunedin Indoor Sports Venues Trust (which governs the Edgar Centre) and Edgar Centre management that keeping the facility open and operating in the meantime is the right decision.

    We see the Edgar Centre as a key sports and community facility in Dunedin – both for the local community, as well as hosting national events and sporting teams.

    For more information, please visit www.building.govt.nz/managing-buildings

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