1As a result of the 2011 earthquakes, the University of Canterbury’s (UoC) former Commerce building was significantly damaged, along with several other structures. The team from Holmes were bought in to run an overall university campus post-earthquake assessment of the structures, with the Commerce building at the centre of an extended series of seismic capacity and performance reviews.
2 The seismic retrofit of the building was a complex and challenging initiative, overcome with some innovative analysis and design. The assessment and retrofit design extended from 2013-2015, with construction beginning late in 2015.
3 The final retrofit design provided both seismic performance enhancement based on displacement-focused decisions as well as force-based considerations to meet New Zealand code minimum requirements. A combination of fluid viscous-damped (FVD) steel frames, and buckling-restrained brace (BRB) steel frames provided significant storey drift reductions from levels excess of 5% under Ultimate Limit State demands, to final peak ULS storey drifts of 1.5%, that were reasonably even in distribution over the building elevation.
4 The new building, named ‘Rehua’, provides leading-edge facilities, featuring large flexible learning spaces and advanced technology—a focal point for UoC and a state-of-the-art facility for its many students. Formal learning spaces are integrated with informal and social spaces, creating a dynamic environment for learning and interaction. Rehua will be the ‘central hub for education, entrepreneurship and executive development’ supporting students of all disciplines; a cornerstone of the University.