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Southern Cross Hospital's Endoscopy Building, Christchurch

04 Sep 2011

The vision for the Endoscopy Building was to house basement level and first floor level car parks, three operating theatres, a floor of consulting suites and a roof level plant room. The tight constraints of the site, coupled with a sophisticated set of requirements, dictated the need for an innovative approach.

Structex proposed a PRESSS-based solution consisting of unbonded post-tensioned rocking/dissipative coupled walls and frame system, as it enabled speedy and more economical construction, while also delivering optimal seismic performance that would minimise business interruptions in the event of an earthquake.

The build included complex design analysis which allowed for a highly refined engineering solution and identified opportunities to further boost earthquake performance. These included the use of U-Shape Flexural Plates as coupling systems between adjacent post-tensioned walls to reduce the impact of an earthquake on the structure and contents of the building.

The resultant PRESSS-based design utilised precast walls, beams and columns, joined in a ductile manner, combined with un-bonded post-tensioned cables within the concrete members. The design provides sufficient strength and elasticity in the structure to resist large earthquake forces with minimal or no damage. The post tensioning restores the structure to its original vertical position after an earthquake event, allowing occupants to re-enter the building and continue with business as usual.

The largely theoretical seismic design performance goals of the project were put to the test during the February 22 earthquake, and proved so effective the Endoscopy Building was quickly called into service as a supplementary facility to the overloaded Christchurch Hospital.

Stefano Pampanin, on behalf of Structex, accepts the Excellence in Concrete
Innovation Award from CCANZ CEO Rob Gaimster