Geotech guidance to better cope with quakes

02 June 2017

NZ Government: Geotechnical guidance developed as a result of the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission will ensure better building performance and response to earthquakes, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“MBIE has today released new geotechnical modules on methods of improving ground conditions and retaining wall design, and a new field guide to help geotechnical professionals assess and categorise land instability after an earthquake,” Dr Smith says.

“The geotechnical component of the rapid building assessment process following an event is important for the safety of the public. It provides engineers assessing the ground after a significant event with an agreed process to follow to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Dr Smith says the modules and field guide are the latest in a series of geotechnical tools in response to recommendations made by the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission.

“Understanding ground behaviour is critical to building performance. This is why MBIE has been working with the New Zealand Geotechnical Society to develop ongoing geotechnical engineering guidance.

“The Christchurch experience has made New Zealand a world leader in the geotechnical field, and we work closely with international experts to ensure we raise the bar for building performance here and internationally.

“This is the first time there has been comprehensive guidance for geotechnical practice in New Zealand. To support the release of the modules an education programme with online resources has been launched to assist geotechnical practitioners.”

More information about the new modules and field guide is available at:




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