I would like to know whether Stafford House built in 1981 is considered an old building or new. "Stafford was constructed in 1981 as an office block and was used for that purpose until 2002, when it was vacated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In late 2002 it was converted into an accommodation facility to specifically cater for students. UniLodge Australia Pty Ltd purchased the management rights in December 2009." I am quite concerned after reading your article.
Yup I know the building - its on The Terrace. The original earthquake standards were introduced in 73 or 74 - so Stafford would have been build to those standards. The standards were later raised in the mid 90's. I used to work at VUW and I know that they are very picky about which buildings they use to house students (in fact they have stopped using some of the older ones).
Nothing is guaranteed - but I'd say the building would be one of the better ones in Wgtn- and the Terrace is on bedrock (not reclaimed land). Remember Christchurch used to have a much lower earthquake risk than Wgtn - so the hazard assessment would have been lower there - the standards aren't uniform - you build to the conditions and we all thought that Wgtn had better odds on an earthquake than Christchurch - probably still has!
The odds are still much better that any of us will die crossing the road than be killed in an earthquake - just to put it in perspective!
Millions of thanks for your prompt answer which will give me a better sleep tonight. I have been worried so much ever since my daughter returned to VUW and she is already tired of my emails regarding the potential earthquake there. Many thanks again and have a good night. Kathy
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