Like most industries, construction in New Zealand is evolving as people discover new technology and safer ways of creating structures. While the country's building law has been directing safer construction of New Zealand buildings in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, it hasn't solved every problem raised by the events.
One continuing concern affecting people in construction jobs around New Zealand involves older homes. While some of these buildings suffered damage in the quakes, others around the country remain untested by these forces. Now, a recent bill passed by parliament requires older houses and commercial buildings to be upgraded, a measure the government expects will save lives in the future.
Kiwi homes now more earthquake proof
The main point of the new law is to ensure the country's buildings are much safer in the event of earthquakes. As building standards evolve over the years, many older structures – which were perfectly safe in their day – are left behind by updated regulations.
According to Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith, the new laws have been created in response to a report which found people living and working in New Zealand's oldest buildings are most at risk.
"The significant change with this law is that the previous requirements that have evolved in building regulations since 1931 were the standards for new buildings," he explained. "This law puts an obligation on older building owners, relative to location, use and risk, to have their buildings assessed and upgraded."
The bill also proposes that certain buildings and structures get priority when it comes to strengthening work, due to the nature of their role in the community. Important infrastructure elements such as hospitals, universities and schools will all have half as much time as other structures to identify any issues and subsequently repair them.
Further economic activity in Christchurch
The rise in earthquake repairs likely to follow in the wake of this announcement is just part of the growing economic development in Christchurch. The Canterbury Development Corporation reported that a number of key indicators are showing increased activity in the region.
In the past 12 months, nearly $2.4 billion worth of new buildings received consent across more than 4,000 projects. On top of this, rising tourism numbers and residential housing prices further evidence growth in the region.
To find out more about labour hire in Christchurch and throughout the rest of New Zealand, contact the team at Tradestaff today.
almost 5 years ago by Will Percy