New geotechnical building resources published

Posted: 31 May 2017

Building Controls Update 216
" "

On 31 May 2017 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the New Zealand Geotechnical Society (NZGS) published two new geotechnical engineering guidance documents, and MBIE published a new Field Guide: Rapid post disaster building usability assessment – Geotechnical.

Two new geotechnical modules

MBIE and the NZGS have jointly released two new geotechnical engineering guidance documents as part of the Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering Practice series. This joint guidance has been published as Building Act section 175 guidance.

The two new modules are:

  • Module 5: Ground improvement of soils prone to liquefaction
  • Module 6: Earthquake-resistant retaining wall design

These versions are being issued for public comment. Geotechnical, civil and structural engineers are encouraged to make use of these documents and return comments to within six months for consideration by the editorial committee. Comments are also welcome from others working in earthquake engineering.

Module 5

This module covers the design of ground improvement and supports the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission recommendations to prepare national guidelines specifying design procedures for ground improvement, so as to provide more uniformity in approach and outcomes.

Module 6

This module covers the seismic design of retaining walls of a routine nature throughout New Zealand and should be used in conjunction with established handbooks that cover other aspects of retaining wall design in all situations and soil conditions. It builds on and generalises the supplementary retaining wall guidance issued by MBIE supporting the Canterbury rebuild seismic design of retaining structures for residential sites in Greater Christchurch with accompanying worked examples.

Geotechnical engineering education programme

An education programme supporting the release of Modules 5 and 6 will be developed and advertised in due course.

Read the geotechnical guidelines

New Zealand Geotechnical Society

View the geotechnical educational programme

New field guide for rapid post disaster building usability assessment – geotechnical

MBIE has published a field guide to accompany two existing field guides for post disaster building assessments for earthquakes and for flooding.

This Field Guide: Rapid Post Disaster – Geotechnical assessment toward building usability has been produced to assist geotechnical professionals in the assessment and categorisation of land instability in conjunction with a rapid building assessment process during a State of Emergency or during a lesser event in special circumstances.

The geotechnical component of a rapid building assessment process involves the rapid assessment of the impacts of land instability on commercial, industrial and residential buildings that could affect the safety of people. This is the third in a series of field guides that target a uniform approach to rapid building assessment.

Rapid post disaster building usability assessment – geotechnical

Rapid post disaster building usability assessment – earthquake

Rapid post disaster building usability assessment – flooding

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: