Base isolators to be included as part of Wakefield Hospital redevelopment

Published: 10 May 2018

Base isolators will be part of Wakefield Hospital's $106 million redevelopment to ensure it can keep operating following a major earthquake.

Plans were announced in November to bowl most of Wellington's largest private hospital, in Newtown, to make way for an upgrade which will give patients access to state-of-the art facilities.

Acurity Health Group and property partner Vital Healthcare Property Trust have announced 114 base isolators will be part of the redevelopment, which is scheduled to be completed by 2021. 

The company said base isolation would provide a higher level of earthquake resistance than the ductile-designed structural systems used now. 

The new building will also include accelerometers to monitor and report on the building's structural performance and integrity following a quake, enabling immediate safety assessments. 

"Base isolation technology will ensure the new Wakefield Hospital complex will significantly exceed the latest seismic codes," Acurity chief executive officer Dr Jonathan Coleman said.

"The redevelopment of Wakefield Hospital will deliver a truly seismically-resilient, purpose-built, state-of-the art medical facility.

"With base isolation technology, we can ensure the hospital will continue to provide health services for the Wellington community after a significant quake."

About 40 New Zealand buildings have base isolators, a technique invented in Wellington by Bill Robinson to minimise damage to buildings during an earthquake.

The redeveloped hospital will join six other Wellington buildings which use base isolators, including Wellington Public Hospital's main building and Te Papa.

The isolators will be installed using a design developed by Wellington-based global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon.

Enabling works for the project have already started and construction expected to begin towards the end of the year.

"We are acutely aware of the disruption that construction can cause and will be doing everything possible to mitigate any adverse effects," Dr Coleman said. 



as published on