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Earthquake Restraint and Design Requirements – What’s Changed & What’s Stayed The Same?

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When it comes to earthquake compliance you don’t want to be left standing on shaky ground. Especially in Adelaide where the risk of earthquake is higher than any other capital city in Australia.

Recently the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) updated the expectations and policy guidelines issued in 2014. John Callea, Manager - Professional & Advisory Services presented to a full house at the CIBSE SA technical seminar last month. He explained the requirement for compliance to the earthquake code and also the SA legislative Ministers specification together with the litigation risks applicable to all those associated with the building industry, for future failure to ignore any services earthquake proofing.

John clarified the requirements of legislation, the various levels of earthquake proofing up to post disaster and what is expected in the extent for re-fit out/refurbishment in existing buildings. Akin to other legislation such as electrical and plumbing, he advised that it is better to improve in part rather than whole to make improvements, which is better than nothing at all.

Example photographs of various equipment and system failures demonstrate what dangers exist (see presentation below). “Ultimately the aim is for safe evacuation of occupants rather preservation of the building itself.” John explained. The need for sway restraints and the use of specific earthquake approved horizontal and vertical supports/fixings for non-structural parts and components was emphasised, as traditional standard off-shelf supports could not be sanctioned and girder clamps are banned.

Seismic Expectations Presentation  
John Callea
Manager Professional & Advisory Services,
Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure

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