Aurecon provides award winning solution for heritage listed property
Aurecon provided structural engineering services to the client for 15 Stout Street, by assessing its seismic capacity and completing structural renovations, transforming the heritage building into a modern New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) 5 Green Star awarded office space.
Built in 1939, 15 Stout Street is one of New Zealand’s first welded steel framed buildings and Wellington’s most iconic buildings. Due to the heritage status of the building, as well as the challenge of minimising disruption to the usable space, practical solutions of seismic strengthening were limited.
Structural in-situ testing
After close inspection of the existing drawings and previous seismic assessment works it was Aurecon’s belief that the beam/column connections were more robust than had been previously acknowledged. In-situ testing was suggested to the client to establish the structures’ true strength and ductility.
Aurecon, in conjunction with McKee Fehl, performed a series of full scale load tests where selected beams were isolated and then jacked cyclically using hydraulic rams in order to determine the joints’ true moment/rotation characteristics.
The findings determined that the building had in fact a capacity in excess of 100 per cent of the current seismic code loadings. From this understanding considerable savings were made to the client in terms of time and budget when compared to previously considered retrofitting options.
This is the first time such testing has been attempted outside specifically dedicated labs in New Zealand. It also offers owners of heritage buildings new options in regards to seismic assessments and strengthening.
Structural renovations of the building included the internal atrium which is open from the ground floor to level 8 providing good natural light penetration onto each level and ensuring interconnectivity across the building and vertically between floors.