UCOL continues to upgrade facilities
As a part of UCOL’s ongoing Safer Buildings programme, UCOL has launched a plan of works to further upgrade buildings on its Manawatū campus.
Following detailed seismic assessments, undertaken by BECA, UCOL has identified some buildings as earthquake-prone, in line with the new Building Act legislation standards that came into effect in July 2017.
A programme of construction works, spanning the next few years, is underway to make UCOL’s buildings more resilient. Initial projects have already started, including the restoration and strengthening of the historic King St Plunket Rooms, and the strengthening of walkways and the lift structure in Blocks 4 and 8.
Notices will be placed on the affected buildings this month, detailing the earthquake rating for the building and the date that strengthening work must be completed by. By legislation, UCOL has seven and a half years to complete remedial works and we have plans in place to do so.
Like many buildings throughout New Zealand, the new classifications do not mean the buildings are deemed dangerous under the Building Act, and they do not have to be closed.
UCOL Chief Executive Linda Sissons says that this programme will ensure UCOL’s campuses are ready to continue supporting learners well into the future. Buildings will remain in use where practical to maintain continuity of teaching.
“There’s been no change to the existing structural integrity of the buildings – this just reflects the change in standards. Our buildings have code of compliance certificates and each building holds a current warrant of fitness. We’re closely monitoring them, and after recent earthquakes there has been no obvious settlement or movement observed, which is great news.”
As we work our way around the campuses, staff and students in buildings where work is being carried out may be relocated to other areas.