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Topic # 85023 11-Jun-2011 18:45
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Hi all
For use by those in Christchurch or with ties here, but hopefully a good read for all others.


My view.

I feel the work being done in the CBD, aka Red Zone is poor. The demolition crews seem to work 5 days a week. There is always rubbish on the side of the roads. I felt and assumed that the demotion will be high priority, as you cannot make a start on the infrastructure and rebuilding until all those buildings that are going, have gone. A guy from New Orleans visited recently to pass on his learnings from Katrina. Saturday morning, the red zone was empty of any activity, he was shocked , as am I. Businesses have relocared, or gone bust (those that were not adequately insured) You would have to say that as time goes on, that these businesses will give up on returnng to the CBD as they will be entrenched in theor new location, and there is no timeline, no matter how rough to go by. The CCC talks about the need to get back to business as soon as possible. When this happened, neighbours and I would talk over this, as many of us do/did here, and I am so disappointed in the lack of activity in there. Maybe I had he mistaken hope that the goal was to get the buildings levelled urgently. You cannot do anything until that happens, so I expected 7 day/24 hour shifts, even if the evening shifts were removing rubble thats a start. If the public see this work and progress being made, they will be keen to be apart of the rebuilding/repatriation, but for me, I am losing interest.       

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  Reply # 480129 11-Jun-2011 18:48
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Couldn't agree with your statement more.

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  Reply # 480136 11-Jun-2011 19:10
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Swinging the wrecking ball is only part of the demolition process, though. Beforehand there would need to be a lot of back office work involved in correspondence with building owners and tenants, along with legal and engineering analysis. With the number of buildings affected there must be enormous pressure on resources.

It's easy for armchair critics to think that the lack of constant demolition activity suggests inadequate progress, but the reality is that we don't really know whether there is potential to speed this up without being directly involved in the process.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 480138 11-Jun-2011 19:12
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Hey this is NZ. They will need to form some committees before they can do any work. Things move real slow down here. Japan will be finished away ahead of us.




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  Reply # 480142 11-Jun-2011 19:29
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Hi Alasta, you are absolutely correct. But it is well known that it is not going to plan, and also building owners are not helping at all. There are a huge number of older buildings that are in clear view when you drive around the cordon, that are coming down, they are missing the front, and the interior has failed, and they are all in a row. Why these are still there I have no idea, they are buildings circa 1900 but they are behind a cordon, hence no safety issues, and still they stand. Clearly there is no assessment of repair required, and from a back office point of view the buildings have to come down. As many did during the so called demolition for safety.But they stand. The buildings on the perimeter, should be higher priority, as there will be some limited opportuities to colonise those eventually empty lots, that needs to happen.

Its 4 months. At this rate it will be 4 years before the CBD can be seen as an area of empty, usable buildings and empty lots. Then, you have to correct/replace the infrastructure, i.e. water, sewage, electricity, communications. Then you can rebuild, and tidy up the road surfaces once the builders have gone.

The removal of destroyed buildings is step one. We wikl eb at step one for years at this rate and that so called dream of rebuilding the city will end up it being emoty as there is no foot traffic or plans to get businesses back in. This being the case the CBD will be a nightlife only environment, with non shopfront workplaces, taking many many years before a business can consider opening up. Many businesses left the CBD awaiting to go back in time, well that time is on the never-never they are now seeig their current locations as where they will be or seeking permanent locations out of the CBD



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  Reply # 480146 11-Jun-2011 19:37
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---Hey this is NZ. They will need to form some committees before they can do any work. Things move real slow down here. Japan will be finished away ahead of us.---

No doubt. No one excts the CBD rebuilt in short term. I've probabaly been the most keen on the rebuild, making it newer and better, all of Bob's hopes, but its all fading. As Alasta said there is back office work, off course, butwhen you get orders of magnitude of work to do, you get orders of magnitude of resource in to help.

Lets say it will take X amount of man hours of documentational work, and X hours of labour to remove the buildings and rubble. If it may take 5 years at todays resource levels, then take on 5 times the resource over time. No, you cannot hire them all next week but the labour is available, here, rest of NZ, or Australia. The cost of the job will be more or less the same, but the cost of taking five times as long will be huge for this city.

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  Reply # 480255 12-Jun-2011 10:04
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tdgeek: As Alasta said there is back office work, off course, butwhen you get orders of magnitude of work to do, you get orders of magnitude of resource in to help.

Lets say it will take X amount of man hours of documentational work, and X hours of labour to remove the buildings and rubble. If it may take 5 years at todays resource levels, then take on 5 times the resource over time. No, you cannot hire them all next week but the labour is available, here, rest of NZ, or Australia.


I'm not convinced that's true. My recent experience has been that whilst there are plenty of unemployed people around most of them are unskilled, so the skills needed to facilitate the rebuild are likely to be in short supply.

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  Reply # 480256 12-Jun-2011 10:15
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Well the quake happened and lots of contractors moved to CHCH so they could jump on the bandwagon early. What happened is the government d***ed around and then when Queensland got borked they all went over there instead. So CHCH had the skills in plentiful supply, the government just screwed us over (again).

That seems to be the price we pay for living in such a beautiful country, it's not cool but i can put up with it. 




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  Reply # 480285 12-Jun-2011 12:38
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The main issue is gerry, eqc, cerra, ccc fletchers and insusance companys all bickering over $ leaving workers unpaid for work done building owners have no idea whats going on and they will start going broke soon without rents coming in. There is to many chiefs telling us to wait and wait. While the workers that want to just get on with things are sitting at home unpaid waiting for work are now leaving.

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  Reply # 480290 12-Jun-2011 13:02
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Coming from an Architectural perspective here's my albeit limited take on it.

Disclaimer: I lived in Chch for about 8 years before moving to Wellington to study my Masters of Architecture a year before the earthquakes started but still have many friends and family there.

It is clear that many areas of Chch will be too expensive to rebuild on. The liquefaction seems to have occurred in pockets and in some cases is still unobserved so it is reasonable to assume that the council will require ground condition surveys for all new buildings in many, if not most, areas of Chch.

The rebuild process will go long into my lifetime, and Chch will never be the city that I left. Anyone who thinks that everywhere will be back to 'normal' within the next ten+ years is kidding themselves. We just don't have the money and capabilities to get everything done.

In regards to reports of people in Chch not wanting to live/work in buildings over 1 storey I think that that is foolhardy. People need to understand that the buildings in Chch were not engineered for that size of earthquake. It was in the lowest eq zone in NZ. It will likely change to the highest rating (the same as Wgtn) in the not too distant future if it hasn't already. NZ engineers are world leaders in eq design. We pioneered the design and use of base isolators which are now used around the world in some of the biggest and most important buildings there are. To limit Chch redevelopment to lowrise buildings only will cause Chch to sprawl even further. Chch has an opportunity to slow the ridiculous urban sprawl that it has and really concentrate some serious CBD action. There is something to be said for a CBD you don't feel like you need a car to get around in...

I'm not an urban design specialist, in fact i despise it, but good urban design is something that takes more than a few months to organise and will affect the city for generations. I beg people to give the redesign, for lack of a better word, time. It WILL be beneficial.

I'm expecting to find that there will be benefits for Chch though. Many areas will be so unstable to build on, but this will allow opportunities for more green spaces to be set up around the city. It is called the 'garden city' after all right?

I worry that the temporary housing being constructed will become permanent as people in charge realise that things are going slower than they hoped. This would piss me off.

I'm heading down to Chch in July as part of a paper i'm taking, and the projects will be something to do with the redesign and talking to Chch architects about it. I'm really excited about what we might end up working on and with whom, there is a nice feeling that we might have some ideas worth using.

Anyway, enough of that, I just hope that people realise that there is a lot to consider and things will take a long time to get underway, let alone complete. I don't condone the slow works being undertaken to rectify things like running water and sewerage or 'red zone' businesses being locked out whilst 'celebrities' get to walk around. That's uncalled for and insulting to the owners, residents and public in general.

I see this as a great opportunity in the wake of a great disaster and can only hope that NZ/Chch jump on board and morph Chch into something that the world is jealous of.



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  Reply # 480294 12-Jun-2011 13:09
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---plenty of unemployed people around most of them are unskilled, so the skills needed to facilitate the rebuild are likely to be in short supply.---

My issue is not the rebuild, we are a looooooong way from a rebuild if removing the buildings will take an age.



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  Reply # 480295 12-Jun-2011 13:13
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---The main issue is gerry, eqc, cerra, ccc fletchers and insusance companys all bickering over $ leaving workers unpaid for work done building owners have no idea whats going on and they will start going broke soon without rents coming in. There is to many chiefs telling us to wait and wait. While the workers that want to just get on with things are sitting at home unpaid waiting for work are now leaving.---

Great points. If they are going to bicker and try to show some semblance of organisation, they could at least have the indians removing as much buildings and rubble in the meantime. This demolition phase is allowing management to buy time and get a plan in place, but the demolition is now a 9-5 task it seems

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  Reply # 480297 12-Jun-2011 13:24
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tdgeek: ---plenty of unemployed people around most of them are unskilled, so the skills needed to facilitate the rebuild are likely to be in short supply.---

My issue is not the rebuild, we are a looooooong way from a rebuild if removing the buildings will take an age.


I think alasta's point was that if you demand 5 times the labour to do paperwork/demolition/whatever then you will disproportionately increase the cost - so you end up paying more than 5 times the labour cost due to scacity

 disrespective: People need to understand that the buildings in Chch were not engineered for that size of earthquake. It was in the lowest eq zone in NZ. It will likely change to the highest rating (the same as Wgtn) in the not too distant future if it hasn't already


Christchurch was certainly not in the lowest eq risk bracket, the threat from the alpine fault is well documented and has been considered for years. I think a key problem with the Feb quake was the abnormal vertical compenent of the shake, which is not usually designed for. My understanding is that chch will be placed in a higher risk bracket than wgtn for the short term, reflecting the enhanced risk of a major quake for the next year or so, and the scientific uncertainty around the faultlines in question. After that, it will probably be revised to a similar level to wgtn, depending on what the science says.

But I totally agree with you, esp in regards to people moving back into high rises. Theres plenty of research around people post-disaster attitudes which basically say that people forget about the disaster after 6-18 months, and go back to things the way they were. In the medium term, people will be in the same sort of high rises as they were before, albeit to a higher structural standard



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  Reply # 480298 12-Jun-2011 13:29
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Disrespective

---Nice points---

It is clear that many areas won't be built on, there are delays with lettibg residents know whuch is a real issue for them, but in fairness, that is more than a site inspection, so thats fair enough.

The rebuild will take years , but there is money, as commercial buildings are insured.

I think the comment of issue over one storey is incorrect. There is a a common feeling that not over 3 storeys, and as tine goes by, the concern will ease, that is known human nature in these disasters. I also disagree that ChCh was not an EQ zone, it has always been. And many high buildings are fine. However there are the notable ones that are not which there is an enquiry asking that question. The building I was in is old but strong, but internal damage. The other building I can work in was built for an 8.

The ideas for the CBD seem to revolve around lower rise buildings, up to 3 storey, but if it will take an age to be in a posiiton to say "we can rebuild from now on" is an issue. When you are here in July, the rubble and heavily damaged buildings will still be there, as they were weeks ago, it is not easy to see what has been demolished each week. Thats my main issue. When the CBD has empty streets (and not piles of rubble in organised piles), and when there are vacant lots or viable buildings left standing, only then can a rebuild start. and that will be after the infrastructure is done. We have been told it will be 2 years before we can re enter our building. So I take from that, that it will be 2 years before demolition is over, and this area is not surrounded by downed buildings.



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  Reply # 480301 12-Jun-2011 13:42
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---I think alasta's point was that if you demand 5 times the labour to do paperwork/demolition/whatever then you will disproportionately increase the cost - so you end up paying more than 5 times the labour cost due to scacity
---

I understand that, the cost will be higher not just 5 x higher for 5 x the labour taken on and done in 1/5 the time. But I do not see it as proportionately higher. Perhaps 40% higher. Maybe more or much more. But the cost of an idle inner city that takes 5 x longer to repatriate is a huge cost.

The longer it takes and the issues that are occurring lose confidence. Easier to forget the CBD and permanently relocate, that is how businesses are feeling. The ideal of keeping the citizens engaged is losing traction. In January 2011, I now don't expect to know anything more than I do now. I exect the CBD to chnahe over that time but not much.

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  Reply # 480318 12-Jun-2011 14:43
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nickb800: Christchurch was certainly not in the lowest eq risk bracket


You're correct, Chch is in zone B, which is the same as the alpine fault. My mistake.

People also have to remember that the building code has only been enforced since its inception in the early 90's. Before then, it was very much up to the client as to the level of structural reinforcement they wanted. As such, many of the buildings in Chch were certainly not up to current code due to their build completion dates being well before the 90's.

There is obviously more to it than that, but at its base level that's what happened. 

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