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Completed Strengthening Project – Two Storey Office

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35 Sir William Pickering Drive

Seismic Strengthening of office building


The Building

This is a two-story office building that consists of concrete and steel structures. The lateral system relies on the reinforced concrete, shear wall panels in both transverse and longitudinal directions. The building is being occupied by different businesses which operate Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm. The office operating times are very important in relation to our strengthening scheme.

Strengthening Process

The owner of the building had engaged the original structural designer to provide a strengthening scheme, but it appears the solution didn’t work for the Owner. I’m assuming this had to do with the practicality and consideration of the building’s occupants. The owner had engaged another structural engineering consultant to provide an alternative solution, but again, the owner did not approve because the scheme also disrupted the current occupants’ everyday routines. On his third try, the owner approached us, asking us to review the current strengthening scheme, while simultaneously creating a way to minimize the disruption of the tenants.

The building has a typical L-shape floor plan which has a potential torsional issue. A number of shear walls are to be placed at several locations, resulting in the seismic loads being more distributed to the lateral components of the building.

We carried out an independent inspection and assessment of the building and followed that up with a Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA) to verify the current structural condition of the building. We also carried out a structural analysis using a state-of-the-art structural analysis software. After thorough analysis and design, we came up with a new and improved strengthening scheme, which provides less space intrusiveness and lower construction costs.  Most of our seismic strengthening scheme occurs outside the building, meaning there is a minimal disruption to the occupants’ activities.

The strengthening scheme that has been undertaken will result in the building becoming more stable, while achieving at least 80% of the New Building Standard or 80%NBS.

Final Thoughts

Strengthening your building can be a headache, hassle, and an expensive exercise if not done well. The key factor to consider involves engaging the right people for the job. Those who will understand your requirements, constraints, and budget.

Please do not hesitate to give me a call to discuss your current project or to offer you some helpful advice.

Email:, Mobile: +64 21 213 0698, Skype: andre.boiser