Base Isolation Confirmed for Multi Million Dollar Re-development of Wakefield Hospital

Published: 07 May 2018

Acurity Health Group and property partner Vital Healthcare Property Trust have confirmed base isolators will be employed in the $106 million re-development of Wellington’s Wakefield Hospital enabling it to remain operational after a major earthquake.

Wellington City Council has granted a Resource Consent for the proposed new hospital. Enabling works are currently underway with construction expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Base isolation has been recognised to provide an increased level of seismic performance compared to ductile designed structural systems. The new building will additionally include accelerometers to monitor and report on the buildings structural performance during an event and its integrity post a seismic event, allowing for an immediate safety assessment to be made.

 “Base isolation technology will ensure the new Wakefield Hospital complex will significantly exceed the latest seismic codes, says Dr Jonathan Coleman, Chief Executive Officer at Acurity Health Group.

 “The redevelopment of Wakefield Hospital will deliver a truly seismically resilient,purpose-built, state-of-the art medical facility. With base isolation technology we can ensure the hospital will continue to provide health services for the Wellington community after a significant quake.”

 Around 40 New Zealand buildings have base isolators, a technique invented in Wellington by Bill Robinson to minimise damage to buildings during an earthquake. The redeveloped Wakefield Hospital will join six other Wellington buildings that employ base isolators including Wellington Public Hospital’s main building and Te Papa.

 Onehundred and fourteen base isolators will be installed using a design developedby Wellington based global engineering & infrastructure advisory firm, Aurecon. 

 “We will be working closely with the community in the lead-up to the proposed redevelopment to understand and address any concerns,” says Dr Coleman.

 “We are acutely aware of the disruption that construction can cause and will be doing everything possible to mitigate any adverse effects.”