Architects, engineers, UC and industry people were amongst the guests at a recent information evening hosted at the STIC/EXPAN building on the UC campus, and kindly sponsored by Mainzeal and King Facade.
Those who came heard a briefing from UC's Dr Mark Quigley, Senior Lecturer in Active Tectonics and geomorphology, and saw for themselves how EXPAN makes multi-storey, sustainable wooden structures more accessible than ever.
"I think we're all in agreeance that as we sit here in this really handsome building, now is the time to build in resilience" were Dr Mark Quigley's opening words to guests at the event. Resilience seemed to be the common theme of the evening as the speakers stressed the importance of having buildings that are ready for seismic activity that is very much unpredictable.
His comments about the importance of reinforced, earthquake-resistant structures were specifically directed at those in the Canterbury region but they are indeed relevant everywhere. Earthquakes and earthquake sequences are not something that can be predicted and any theories put forward on when and where they may occur can only be drawn from existing data. As Dr Quigley stressed in his talk, "every earthquake sequence is different".
The EXPAN building had been through a number of test sequences and was already completed by the time Canterbury was hit by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake on February 22nd. The building held up incredibly well in what Paul Blackler of Mainzeal described as its "real time", test with no damage or cracking whatsoever.
STIC CEO Rob Finch closed the evening's speeches by elaborating on Dr Quigley's observations on building with timber. "We can't predict what's going on under the ground, but we can develop technology to give greater resilience above ground and that's really what we're doing here".
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