Quakestar - Deaths, Dollars & Downtime, A Reliable Building Seismic Rating System for New Zealand

November 29, 2012
Publication: Proceedings of 2012 SESOC Conference [Structural Engineering Society New Zealand], Auckland, November 2012
Author(s): Ronald Mayes Parker, Will Holden, Don Hopkins, David Hare, John Snook, John

Abstract: QuakeStar is a proposed rating system for buildings to provide users, owners and other stakeholders in buildings an immediate, clear, concise, unambiguous understanding of a building’s seismic performance. Since the Christchurch earthquakes in particular, QuakeStar initiators, Don Holden and Bob Burnett, have consulted stakeholders involved with commercial buildings who have indicated strong interest in an earthquake building performance rating system to enable better understanding of safety of existing commercial buildings and safety, insurability and financing of new buildings. A Quakestar meeting in February was attended by over 50 industry representatives. Don has established a steering group who plan to develop New Zealand’s own Building Rating Scheme for Earthquake Performance. The system is proposed to address three main issues for commercial buildings: safety (deaths), cost to recover (dollars), time to recover (downtime).|The focus will be on Safety of existing buildings in the first instance.|Proponents of QuakeStar in New Zealand are working with Dr Ron Mayes of SEAONC, the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, who has recently completed development of a building rating system and tools for assessing seismic performance (www.seaonc.org). This paper will overview the proposed Quakestar system, discuss applicability of assessment tools recently developed and released in the USA, including ASCE31 and ATC 58 developed by SEAONC, and outline the next steps in development, including a pilot programme, of the system to enable ratings to be assigned in New Zealand.