Release: International Earth Sciences
IESE involved in Christchurch rebuild
Auckland company International Earth Sciences (IESE) will have its work cut out in the New Year installing seismic monitoring equipment in a number of new buildings in Christchurch.
The city is still being rebuilt following the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck it on February 22, 2011. The natural disaster destroyed large parts of the city and killed 185 people. Now four years later with the rebuild in full swing some of the buildings are now being equipped with seismic monitoring equipment.
The sensors, which are manufactured by US company Trimble, measure how much vibration the structure of a building has sustained during an earthquake and whether the stress exceeds its design specifications. If the display installed at the front of a building shows a white light people can re-enter the building, but if it is displaying a red light a structural engineer would need to inspect the property.
“If you own a property in an earthquake the first thing you must do is evacuate the building,” IESE chairman Ralf Muller says. “But then you don’t know how damaged it is. With these sensors they let you make an informed decision on whether you want to re-enter the building.”
And with last week’s nationwide Civil Defence earthquake drill still fresh in people’s minds the technology is more relevant than ever.
IESE chief executive Hylton White says such technology can save businesses millions of dollars through reducing the downtime after a quake.
He says the team from IESE will soon be installing the equipment in the Opus building in Christchurch, with more work scheduled in the New Year.
And he says the work probably won’t stop in Christchurch.
“Wellington is now looking promising for this type of work as well.”
Trimble regional sales manager Paul Drummond says such equipment has been installed in buildings in the United States for a number of years, but is still relatively new in New Zealand.
Mr Drummond says there is a lot of room for growth in the New Zealand market and with it’s ongoing work with IESE as its reseller things are looking positive.
IESE specialises in geothermal and micro-seismic analysis and grew out of a project by the now defunct University of Auckland Institute for Earth Sciences and Engineering.
The company has been going for less than a year, but has already secured multi-million dollar contracts in Mexico, Japan, Germany, Indonesia and New Zealand. The IESE team includes an array of international experts in geology, seismology, physics and instrumentation and data analysis technology.
For more information on International Earth Sciences go to www.iese.co.nz