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BC Update 205: Rockfall protection structures guidance released

Posted: 29 November 2016

BC Update
MBIE, the New Zealand Geotechnical Society (NZGS) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) have developed joint guidance on passive rockfall protection structures. This joint guidance has been published as Building Act s175 guidance.

Passive rockfall protection structures, such as rockfall fences and embankments, act as barriers to intercept and capture or divert falling rock to prevent it from impacting a critical structure. The guidance focuses on:

  • How passive protection fits within the overall scope of rockfall risk mitigation
  • Site assessments
  • Design approaches
  • The design process, including inputs, site selection, structure selection, structure sizing and long term inspection and maintenance
  • Other non-technical design considerations
  • Regulatory considerations.

This document is part of the general guidance on geotechnical engineering that is being developed in response to issues arising from the Canterbury earthquake.

This version is being issued for public comment. NZGS members are encouraged to make use of these documents and return comments to modulefeedback@nzgs.org by 29 May 2017 for consideration. Comments are also welcome from structural engineers and others working in earthquake engineering.

NZGS has scheduled presentations to introduce the new guidance to their members at branch meetings from late November. The document is also available on the NZGS and NZTA websites.

Rockfall: Design considerations for passive protection structures

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: