Seismic sensing promises safer buildings

Wellington based company Global Seismic Data has installed what it claims is a world-first into a number of buildings in Wellington:A cloud-based system for monitoring the impact of seismic activity on a structure.

Global Seismic Data says property developer The Wellington Company is installing its seismic monitoring system across its portfolio “as part of their continual plan to improve; stronger buildings, safer outcomes resilience.”

According to The Wellington Company’s website, it has eight properties in Wellington, including Spark Central, NEC and Xero.

The system comprises seismic sensor units with multiprocessor capability and multi-axis measurement that communicate over cellular to a cloud based monitoring, analysis and reporting platform.

The company says its Structural Health Monitoring System (SHMS) provides valuable data and information on the movement and behaviour of buildings and infrastructure enabling stakeholders to better prepare for and manage seismic events.

It says the technology can enable a shift of focus from managing disaster to managing risk, including reducing the underlying drivers of risk (exposure and vulnerability).

A broader whole of society approach to risk

“The continuous real-time monitoring of your building or infrastructure may allow you to identify and respond to defects before they have a serious impact on your operation or finances,” the company says.

Wellington Company director Ian Cassels said the system would provide invaluable information on the impact of an earthquake on the company’s buildings

“[It] provides us with real time informationhellip; [that] will be invaluable in terms of accessing whether buildings need to be evacuated or if they are safe to re-enter,” he said.

“[And] we will have specific detailed information to enable us to confidently target our seismic upgrade investment to create safer and more resilient buildings for our tenants and the Wellington community.”

The Wellington installation is being claimed as a world-first. However Global Seismic Data’s web site shows it already has a presence in six earthquake prone cities in the US as well as Australia, Mexico and the Pacific Islands.

Global Seismic Data director Steven McLauchlan said the company was working with building owners and engineering and insurance companies around the world, and the system was being installed in 23 countries.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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