Ministry of Education's main building deemed quake risk

Source: 1News

The Ministry of Education's main building in Wellington has been found to have met just 25% of the building code due to its concrete floors.

More than 1000 staff working in Mātauranga House, on Wellington's Bowen Street, have been given until May 30 to move out.

They have been asked to work from home until September "while we plan our longer-term working arrangements", Secretary for Education Iona Holsted said.

The building had been rated 90-100% New Building Standard in 2015, one year before the Education Ministry moved in.

However, the building was rated at 25% NBS under the new National Engineering Assessment Guidelines - which are based on the most up to date engineering practices - "due to the concrete floors".

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"Other aspects of the building continue to rate well," Holsted said.

She said the "relatively good performance during the Kaikōura earthquake meant it was not immediately prioritised for a re-assessment".

"The difference in the rating reflects a new set of technical guidelines for seismic assessment released by MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) in 2017."

Holsted said it had seen rating changes to many buildings in the Wellington CBD.