Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Wellywood indeed

Wellington likes to style itself Wellywood because of its film industry. They have more than that in common. Here's the LA Times on earthquake risk from concrete buildings in Los Angeles. They also report on Christchurch and the dangers of non-ductile concrete buildings. Here's a map of earthquake-prone buildings in Los Angeles to match Wellington's.

I've been more worried about Wellington's unreinforced masonry than I have been about collapsing concrete buildings. Unreinforced masonry tends to fall outwards onto pedestrians and cars - building owners have only weak incentives to avoid those kinds of costs absent external compulsion or liability.


  1. From the LA Times article, this makes me grumbly:

    In the absence of city action, university scientists compiled the first comprehensive inventory of potentially dangerous concrete buildings in Los Angeles.

    The scientists, however, have declined to make the information public. They said they are willing to share it with L.A. officials, but only if the city requests a copy. The city has not done so, the scientists said.

    So, I can't know which buildings might potentially kill me? I wonder about the building I work it, which has a load of brickwork, but I'm unsure if it's merely decorative.

  2. They're going to be scared of being sued if they have anything wrong. There've been similar cases here. In Wellington, they suppressed the list of buildings that potentially shared the same flaw as a collapsed Christchurch building. Turned out many wound up having been misclassified.

  3. More annoyed at the complete disinterest by elected officials. A big chunk of the work was done for free, why not at least take a peek at it? Though, admittedly, that's asking a lot of Los Angeles government.