Octa was engaged in August 2018 to project manage the seismic strengthening and upgrades of the iconic St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington, to ensure its long-term survival and enhance resilience to future earthquake activity. Detailed seismic assessment had begun in late 2015 with further investigations following the Kaikōura earthquake, resulting in the installation of temporary strapping to contain structural movement, and detailed geotechnical investigations.
The scope of work entails three separate work packages:
Seismic Upgrade: install bracing in the sub-floor, construct a new ring foundation under the tower, upgrade main structural connections, install above-ground wall bracing, gently straighten the building
Building Consents and Life Safety Items: replace 50-year old sprinkler system, replace fire detection system, install emergency and exit lighting, renew non-compliant cabling
Further Upgrade works (depending on budget): maintenance issues such as damage and weather-proofing, lighting upgrades, surveillance and security systems, heating and ventilation.
Prior to construction commencing, items were removed and stored or covered for protection. Stained glass windows were removed, and internal scaffolding erected.
Stakeholder support and engagement was a vital aspect of this project and Octa met regularly with the Friends of Old St Paul’s and Heritage New Zealand who jointly funded the project.
Heritage New Zealand is championing trade skills and best practice heritage management with the wider community and is keen to be a recognised leader in these transformative technologies.