Tree Frog Forestry News

Wood is good shows research on 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake

Voxy New Zealand
April 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — New research has found that only three per cent of deaths in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake occurred in people’s homes, almost all of which were at that time constructed from wood. The researchers found it was the collapse of just 15 buildings which caused more than half (58 per cent) of all deaths in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which remains New Zealand’s deadliest earthquake. Many of the buildings which collapsed were multi-storey constructions made of unreinforced masonry. …The study’s senior author, Professor Nick Wilson from the University of Otago, Wellington… says the value of wooden buildings has repeatedly been shown in earthquakes in New Zealand, going back as far as the 1848 Marlborough earthquake. However, the lessons of this and further earthquakes were not put into building regulations and New Zealanders continued building in insufficiently reinforced brick, including in multi-storey buildings.

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