23 Jun 2012

New quake-resistant Wellington building a world-first

11:11 pm on 23 June 2012

The opening of Massey University's new creative arts building in Wellington has marked a world-first in earthquake-resistant engineering.

The building, opened on Friday, has a timber frame held together with tensioned steel cables, which allow the frame to flex during an earthquake.

The creative arts centre will be able to withstand a shake stronger than Christchurch's February 2011 earthquake.

One of its engineers, Dunning Thornton Consultants director, Alistair Cattanach says the New Zealand-developed technology may become a lucrative global business.

He says the buildings could be designed and pre-engineered in New Zealand, then shipped to other earthquake-prone areas.

"Instead of shipping logs off all the time, we actually start putting these buildings in containers and shipping them off pre-engineered for highly seismic areas using the design skills that we've got here in this country ........ that's the future of these buildings."