Monday, 3 November 2014

An odd argument

The Commerce Building at the University of Canterbury was heavily damaged in the February 2011 earthquakes. The three buildings making up the Commerce Building bashed against each other, requiring substantial remediation. The University then spent a long time in court with its insurer: the Council required that buildings be remediated to 66% of code, rather than the 33% that obtained pre-quake, but the insurer (not unreasonably) deemed that to be a betterment.

Newstalk ZB reports on the latest:
The University of Canterbury is going to the Supreme Court to appeal a decision on the level to which a damaged building must be repaired.
A High Court judgement earlier this year said the council had been wrong to make higher seismic strength standards part of the consent process for repairing damaged buildings.
It stated the council can't expect buildings to be repaired to anything higher than 34 percent of the New Building Standard.
Canterbury University appealed that ruling, arguing it would save more than $140 million if it could say to its insurers that the council required all of its 240 damaged buildings be repaired to 67 percent.
An appeal will be heard in the Supreme Court on November 11.
I can understand the University's argument for repairs that have already been undertaken: Council was requiring a higher standard, and the University had to make repairs under the Council's rules at that time.

The argument does get a bit strange if applied to repairs that have yet to be undertaken, like those for the Commerce Building, which I don't believe had started when I left there in July.

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