Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) was advised by its external structural
engineers that two buildings on CDHB’s Ashburton Hospital campus have been
assessed as having high seismic risk because of their construction being from
The buildings were
assessed as part of CDHB’s process of reviewing the seismic capacity of
This morning CDHB
advised staff of the engineer’s findings and staff equipment, and files will be
moved out of the buildings over the next few days. The affected buildings
Outpatients (also containing the pharmacy) and
the adjacent bed store and therapy services building. The
outpatients building was originally built in 1880 and parts of it are single
storey, while other parts are two-storey. It is all constructed from
unreinforced masonry and has tall brick chimneys. It was extended in 1923, 1959
and 1969. Despite these extensions and alterations CDHB’s external structural
engineers have stated that each building still contains significant risk
elements. The bed store was added on in 1952 and is also a single storey
unreinforced masonry building.
The therapy service building was built in
1879 and is a single storey, unreinforced masonry building.
chief executive David Meates says because of the age and construction of these
buildings it’s unlikely they will be strengthened.
on current evaluation criteria by our external structural engineers, these
buildings have been assessed as high to very high seismic risk particularly
given the unreinforced masonry. Staff and services provided from these buildings
will be relocated to alternative facilities,” David Meates says.
know that in the event of another major quake unreinforced masonry buildings
have a higher risk of collapse. As a result of closing these buildings there
will be some disruption to outpatient appointments this week. We will do our
best to contact everyone who is likely to be affected. Supervised access will
allow staff to retrieve equipment and files from these buildings over the next
apologise for the inconvenience, however, this urgent action is being taken for
the safety of staff and the public. As we have previously stated, where we have
concerns or become aware of issues regarding any of our buildings we will not
compromise the safety of our employees or the public.”
Alternative facilities are being arranged for around 20 staff who usually
work in outpatients, pharmacy and physiotherapy services. The contents of the
bed store building will be moved to another storage facility.
Following the February 22 and June 13 quakes all CDHB buildings were
checked by independent structural engineers to ensure that facilities were safe
to occupy. These Ashburton buildings were being reviewed as part of a follow-up
round of inspections, and as previously stated, while they did not sustain major
damage during the quake, they have been identified as having a high seismic risk
due to their construction being unreinforced masonry.
invasive inspections are continuing to occur at CDHB facilities throughout
Canterbury. CDHB owns over 200 buildings located from Kaikoura in the north to
Ashburton in the south.
September 2010 quake over 7500 hospital rooms have been damaged and CDHB has
already undertaken a significant range of urgent repairs.
cost of repairs was originally estimated to be in the region of about $70
million, however, the cost of repairs and significant strengthening is expected
to continue to rise as the results of further invasive inspections are made
available and the costs of the necessary work is known.
the building was previously safe to occupy, what’s
Inspections were carried out following initial major quakes and
after-shocks. As these buildings were not visibly damaged, they were subject to
a wider review of seismic capacity which has just been completed.
action has been taken on the basis of the engineer’s initial findings concerning
received formal advice from the external structural engineers late yesterday
(Monday 5 December)
all the buildings on the Ashburton campus been checked?
Engineers have been on site the past two weeks and reports will be
provided as soon as they are completed.
exactly is the problem?
walls in most of these buildings are made from unreinforced masonry (in most
cases brick) and as such are at high risk of collapse in a significant
can DHB staff be reassured about the building they work
Buildings have been constantly checked – we would not allow staff or
patients to occupy any building that we didn’t believe was safe – this is why we
have requested additional invasive inspection checks. If your building is being
rechecked, it doesn’t mean it’s not safe to occupy.
have any questions about buildings, talk to your manager or email
Where have services been relocated to?
being finalised today and as soon as arrangements are confirmed the community
will be informed.
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