Structural Engineers NZ Ltd.

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The 2010 Canterbury earthquake (also known as the Christchurch earthquake or Darfield earthquake) struck the South Island of New Zealand with a moment magnitude of 7.1 at 4:35 a.m. local time on 4 September, and had a maximum perceived intensity of X (Intense) on the Mercalli Intensity Scale. Some damaging aftershocks followed the main event, the strongest of which was a magnitude 6.3 shock that occurred on 22 February 2011. Because this aftershock was centred very close to Christchurch, it was much more destructive and resulted in the deaths 185 people, and was felt from Invercargill to Wellington.

New Zealand is accustomed to earthquakes, but few have been as destructive as the 6.3-magnitude tremor that hit Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, in 2011. The central business district, which was cordoned off from the public for more than two years, still looks like a war zone. Fences that stretch for blocks enclose vacant lots piled high with rubble. Deserted buildings await demolition, some with gaping holes where windows should be, some without walls. There are so many safety pylons on the sidewalks and roads that locals joke that the region’s traditional sporting colors — red and black — should be changed to fluorescent orange. The everyday sounds of the city have been replaced by jackhammers, bulldozers and the endless beeping of construction vehicles backing out of building sites.

On the afternoon of Feb. 22, 2011, as the C1 Espresso cafe in Christchurch was in the midst of a busy lunch rush, the walls and tables suddenly began shaking, windows started popping out of their frames, and the lights flickered out. The region had been experiencing aftershocks from a large earthquake that had struck six months earlier, but this one was different. In a span of minutes, the entire city center was devastated, including the cafe, which was eventually demolished. Nearly 200 people across the city died.

SENZ specialise in building custom additions and renovations.Our goal is to design your addition or renovation to flow as if it was part of the original design of your home. We have earned the trust of countless satisfied customers around the area. SENZ can help those affected by re-designing new homes and buildings to be safe guarded should it happen again. We are specialists in earthquake buildings.

You can be certain that SENZ will handle your entire project from start to finish with professionalism. We make sure that every part of your job is planned and designed around all of the aspects of the project. We are in control so you don’t have to worry.

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Seismic Analysis & Design Christchurch New Zealand NZ

In February 2011 Christchurch the earthquake that occurred was a very strong natural event, that seriously affected New Zealand's second-largest city, killing 185 individuals in one of the nation's deadliest peacetime tragedies.

The magnitude 6 .3 (ML) earthquake hit the Canterbury Area in New Zealand's South Island at 12:51 pm on Tuesday, 22th February 2011 local time (23:51 21 February UTC).The earthquake was targeted 2 kilometers (1 .2 mi) west of the port town of Lyttelton, and 10 kilometres (6 mi) south-east of the centre of Christchurch, New Zealand's second-most populated city. It adopted nearly half a year after the magnitude 7 .1 Canterbury earthquake of 4 September 2010, which caused great damage to Christchurch and the central Canterbury region, but luckily no direct fatalities.


Destruction in New Zealand

The earthquake caused widespread destruction across Christchurch, particularly in the main city and eastern suburbs, with damage increased by infrastructure and buildings that had already been destabilised by the 4th September 2010 earthquake and its aftershocks. Significant liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, generating around 400,000 tonnes of silt. The shallow earthquake was reportedly felt across the South Island and the lower and central North Island. Even though the initial quake only lasted for ten seconds, the area and depth of its location to Christchurch in addition to the earlier quakes were the reason behind so much damage.

Altogether, 185 people were wiped out in the earthquake, making it the second-deadliest natural disaster documented in New Zealand’s documented history (after the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake), and fourth-deadliest disaster of any kind documented in New Zealand, with nationals from above 20 countries among the patients. Over 50% the deaths happened in the six-storey Canterbury TV (CTV) Building, which collapsed and trapped fire in the quake. The federal government announced a state of national emergency, which remained in force until 30th April 2011.

The total price to insurers of reconstructing was at first estimated at NZ$15 billion. At that point it was already forecasted to be by far New Zealand's costliest natural damage and the third-costliest earthquake (nominally) globally. But by April 2013, the total approximated expense had ballooned to $40 billion. Certain economists have approximated it will take the New Zealand economy fifty to one hundred years to totally recover. The earthquake was the most destructive in a year-long earthquake swarm affecting the Christchurch part. It was accompanied by a large aftershock on 13 June (which caused substantial additional damage) and a series of large shocks on 23 December the year 2011.

SENZ “structural engineers NZ” are still working to this day, helping and assisting with the re-building of those hard hit areas, which were affected by the quakes.

We are here to assist:


Building Contractors

Local Authorities

With all things earthquake related, using our superb skills in Seismic Analysis & Design

Contact us straight away if you are wanting the very best in assistance with drawings and knowledge in this area/field.

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Earthquake engineering

Is the scientific field concerned with safeguarding society, the natural and the man made environment from earthquakes by decreasing the seismic threat to socio-economically acceptable levels. Traditionally, it has been narrowly known as the study of the behavior of structures and geo-structures subject to seismic loading, this regarded as a subset of both structural and geotechnical engineering. In spite of this, the tremendous costs experienced in recent earthquakes have brought about an expansion of its scope to encompass disciplines from the wider field of civil engineering and from the social sciences, particularly sociology, political science, finance and economics.

The primary objectives of earthquake engineering are:

  • Foresee the potential effects of powerful earthquakes on urban areas and civil infrastructure.
  • Design, construct and maintain structures to perform at earthquake exposure up to the goals and in compliance with building codes.
  • A properly engineered structure does not compulsorily have to be very strong or very expensive. It has to be properly built to withstand the seismic effects while sustaining a tolerable level of harm.
  • Assessing the tectonic and fault mechanisms that generate earthquake to approximate when they will occur and how massive they are going to be.

Seismic overall performance:

Seismic loading signifies application of an earthquake-generated excitation on a structure (or geo-structure). It happens at contact surfaces of a structure either with the ground, with adjacent structures, and with gravity waves from tsunami.

Earthquake and seismic performance defines a structure's ability to preserve its primary functions, for example its safety and serviceability, at and after a specific earthquake exposure. A structure is generally considered secure if it does not put in danger the lives and health of those in or around it by partially or totally collapsing. A structure may be regarded serviceable if it is able to meet its operational functions for which it was built.

Fundamental principles of the earthquake engineering, implemented in the major building codes, imagine that a building should survive a rare, very serious earthquake by sustaining significant damage but without entirely collapsing. However, it should remain operational for more frequent, but much less severe seismic events.

Earthquake Engineering encompasses a vast range of activities that seek to help reduce the disruption and damage towns suffer when hit by an earthquake. The topic includes:

  • Understanding precisely how the earthquake energy transmits through the ground.
  •  Quantifying the likely ground surface responses at a precise site all through the existence of a structure.
  •  Assessing the liquefaction potential of soils at precise sites.
  • Designing structures and lifeline services (gas, transport, electricity, water and wastewater) to minimise the disruption and damage during and after an earthquake.
  • Planning for emergency response and post-earthquake recuperation
  • Preparing towns for earthquakes.
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Structural Design

Is a precise class of Structural layout. When it's been made a decision that the framework of a property is to be made from steel, the Structural Engineers design this together (n quite often ) with an Architect. The Structural Steel Designer produces design calculations to confirm that the structure will cope with the normal loadings that are anticipated throughout the existence of the building, as well as those that can be anticipated during extraordinary events, for example earthquakes, hurricanes and open fire. The Structural Steel Designer develops drawings that are in turn utilised by the Steel Detailer to make workshop drawings, then to be used by a Steel Fabricator in many circumstances.

Structural Engineers additionally design tall buildings, bridges, wharf's, dams, towers, sporting stadia and show centres in concrete and at certain times timber. The work needs the use of confirmed structural theory, as well as local structure codes.

The Structural Engineer administers each and every project contract, from the preparation of the tender files to the production of design documentation - the drawings and specs - and also makes sure that the actual construction work is carried out in line with the contract and to accepted standards.

Invariably the Structural Engineer gets involved in Project Management, taking responsibility for design groups who will work in various areas.

Structural Engineers are often needed to provide property management services, reporting on the situation of structures and their appropriate maintenance. Additionally they give recommendation on the safety of structures, which can be jeopardized by erosion and concrete cancer.


The chosen High School subjects are Mathematics and Physics or even Chemistry. Training to acquire a Bachelor of Engineering degree takes 4 years. Other qualifications incorporate the Diploma in Engineering and the Bachelor of Engineering Technology degree.

Chartered Professional Engineer level conferred following suitable work experience, the candidate having shown to peers the necessary capabilities and thoughts.

SENZ have all the very latest and highest acreditations for this type of workmanship, so be rest assured you have the right people for the job !

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Established in 1988, the group aims to provide a modern society, within which structural engineers can share common interests and technical info. It has a diary and newsletter; each released two times yearly and proactive structural organizations in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. Seminars and courses on specific subjects of interest are organised as required and technical design manuals created on chosen topics. The community constantly pursues issues that are related to structural engineering.


The Institution of Qualified Engineers New Zealand

(IPENZ) is a not-for-profit professional body which represents the engineering sector in New Zealand. It has around 12, 000 members who are either engineers or have a specific affinity for engineering, normally practicing in New Zealand.

As engineering is a self-regulating occupation in New Zealand, IPENZ endeavors to promote the interests of the New Zealand engineering career through support services to members. Primary IPENZ services include career advancement for members, the implementation of proficiency and ethical practice standards and community identification of engineering. A lot of members pay yearly service fees, mostly covered by their manager. As a member they must adhere to the IPENZ Code of Ethics that aims to ensure ethical engineering practice. IPENZ also markets public debate on engineering matters and stewards national engineering awards.

IPENZ is governed by an elected board, chaired by the president and eleven members. This board sets system and employs the chief executive, who controls the expenditure of the spending budget to provide services to members and to finance exercises specified by its strategy. The national office is situated in Wellington, and there are regional branches to which members belong. Members can also be part of a specialized group or special interest group that is targeted on a niche part of engineering.

The very first professional engineering body in New Zealand, is the Institute of Local Government Engineers of New Zealand, was established in 1912. The following year the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers was established. It was regarded as representative of the engineering profession, and the two bodies came together in 1914.

With the improvement of the Society and a growing number of non-civil engineers, a name transform to The New Zealand Institution of Engineers was required in 1937. In 1959 the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) was developed as a consultancy division, and it became a distinct entity in 1970. The term IPENZ was adopted in 1982 to reflect the significance of the 'professional' engineering ethos in the organisation.


SENZ are members of this body and as such you can be assured of the very best in technical support and up to date design ethics for your build

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The Architecture of New Zealand

         Has been impacted by several different traditions, but it is mainly due to a European style-esque. Polynesian impact has also been present in many areas.

Many of the more notable structures in and around Dunedin and Christchurch were built-in the latter part of the 19th century due to the financial growth following the Main Otago Gold Rush. A very common style for these landmarks is the utilisation of dark basalt blocks and facings of cream-coloured Oamaru stone, a form of limestone mined at Weston in North Otago. Remarkable structures of this style, include Dunedin Railway Station, the University of Otago Registry Structure, Christchurch Arts Centre, Knox Church, Dunedin, Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch, Christ's University, Christchurch, Garrison Hall, Dunedin, areas of the Canterbury Provincial Council Structures and Otago Boys' High School. Several recent structures have mimicked this layout by utilising brick instead of basalt, but making use of less heavy stone facings in an identical style to the older structures. Notable among these structures are Otago Girls' High School and the Timaru Basilica. This area was able to call upon the talents of numerous fine architects during this time, among them Robert Lawson, Francis Petre, Benjamin Mountfort, and George Troup.


Oamaru stone

     In spite of its susceptibility to the components, is utilised as a primary building material on several fine buildings, most certainly in the city of Oamaru itself. The historical sector of this city contains a lot of fine structures built-in this creamy stone, among them is Forrester Gallery and Waitaki District Council building. Waitaki Boys' High School is likewise a major example of the utilization of Oamaru stone architecture.

Napier and Christchurch have experienced damage to several heritage buildings due to earthquakes. Napier was restructured after a 1931 earthquake in an art deco style, which was well-known at that time. The 2010 Canterbury earthquake and the 2011 Christchurch earthquake affected a lot of structures in Christchurch and in the Canterbury Region.

Here at SENZ we can help all these old issues by making your new or old structure up to date in terms of sustainablity, Call or email Ted to see what he can do for you and your architecture.

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A Long time ago in NZ

Around 200 earthquakes have been powerful enough to be felt since records began, on the beautiful islands of NZ. Because of this, New Zealand has very  strict building regulations. Most of the quakes in New Zealand happen along the principal ranges running from East Cape in the northeast to the Fiord land in the southwest. This axis follows the border between the Pacific and Indo Australian plates.

The biggest city within this high risk zone is the country's capital, Wellington, followed by Hastings subsequently Napier. All these cities have experienced serious quakes since European settlement. New Zealand has occasionally been nicknamed the Shaky Isles. On 26 May 1840, the first of several tremors and quakes hit the new settlement at Port Nicholson.



The New Zealand Earthquake Commission (EQC), provides much of the state with public instruction. As summarised in its statement of purpose, it expects to supply "public instruction about seismic risks and procedures of reducing or preventing seismic catastrophe damage." The EQC is in charge of societal marketing campaigns, and sponsors exhibitions on seismic risks in the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. The adverts summarised the dangers earthquakes present to New Zealand and measures families can take to "Quake Safe their house." The motto used throughout EQC Quake Safe efforts is "Fix, Fasten, and Forget." Also, in October 2006, many families received free "EQ IQ" fridge magnets from the EQC to remind them of the dangers in the area that they live in.

Early settlers learned pretty rapidly the value of using proper construction approaches in an earthquake-prone nation. After the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, many buildings in Napier and Hastings were totally leveled. New building regulations meant that any new buildings built after in Napier and Hastings must be no taller than 5 stories. Because of this, both cities have suffered no major damage other than earthquakes that have hit the area.


Help is at hand

Here at SENZ, we understand how important it is to make your home~property as safe as it can possibly be, using the very latest seismic analysis and design techniques. Be this to ensure your current structure is up to the job, or the new build is competent enough to withstand the "tremors and shakes of the islands".


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Do you find it hard to find quality/well priced drawing made for "Structural Engineering" works in your area ?

At SENZ, we pride ourselves on being the best at delivering the best workmanship at low cost to you. We work almost entirely from referrals, due to the fact that we are a fair, honest and at the very best prices.

Use SENZ, in the knowledge that you can be rest assured/guaranteed of a job well done !

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