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Resonate S k y t e c

FREE | October 2019

n e w s l e t t e r

NHM Challenges: Anywhere, anytime The months of September & October 2019 mark special efforts by independent news outlets to increase awareness of the risks of climate change

Bernard Toh | Director Skytec

Welcome! Our mag ‘Resonate’ is designed to create awareness amongst our valued clients and the community about natural hazard management (NHM), engineering issues and the part we play in finding solutions to them - with you! Also check out what we have been up to work-wise J +64 3 260 1950 | +64 21 0396 901

Hundreds of thousands of citizens have attended peaceful direct action protests in Aotearoa and Australia (and millions worldwide), to highlight the crisis effects that increased extreme weather and natural hazard risk are having on our communities and environments. The rallies continue. In Australia, unprecedented bush-fires tore through Queensland and New South Wales in early spring. Hundreds of volunteer rural firefighters took on the fires which spread rapidly, impacting on homes, forests and wildlife. New Zealand’s (NZ) NIWA has recently identified the severe potential impact of flooding, particularly on Canterbury with its braided river systems and called for a coordinated national flood map. Many NZ councils are doing flood hazard mapping to help plan for events, others are still yet to do so. NIWA has made available evidence-based resources to help people understand what climate change is and what we can do about it; because of its capacity to impact our lives (now and in future). The concept of ‘sustainable development’ means meeting the needs of current generations without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs: this baseline has consistently come up as needing attention by governments and communities.

NZ, along with other 1-2% countries makes up almost 40% of total carbon emissions although its per capita rating is higher, as is Australia’s (who are in the top 20). Climate change litigation is growing, which may have impacts on traditional approaches to insurance and investment. The transition economy, in which humans need a comprehensive plan to adapt, transition away from carbon, change lifestyles, grow new jobs and protect the environment is gaining momentum. For example, a $50M deal to power major universities in the UK with 100% renewable energy has been just been approved. (Photo: Change at our doorsteps: Looking through Pohutukawa onto Wellington CBD and harbour. Supplied).

The idea is if individuals, the private sector and collective societies make efforts to change, have an improved duty of care, climate impacts may be able to be better avoided, mitigated or reduced. Skytec aims to be part of transition, by reducing our own footprint and help ‘future-proof’ the projects we work on. See how we have expanded our services below. Want to know how things might affect you? These maps and info from NZ’s Ministry for the Environment and The Guardian (reporting) based on a search for regions in NZ and Australia.


Innovate: What’s new at Skytec We know how critical collaboration is across different disciplines. Often complex issues arise because of gaps in expertise/information, so Skytec is making serious efforts to ensure it takes a holistic-partnership approach to its services, particularly in light of climate change. To improve structural, geotechnical and civil engineering disciplines, Skytec can now offer the following: 1. Electrical - Including engineering, project management and support for IT Infrastructure, Energy Conservation, Data Communications, Hazardous Area Designs, Safety Systems, Instrumentation, Pumps, Soft-Starters, Variable Speed Drives, Site Power Reticulation, Emergency Shutdown Systems, SCADA Systems, Lightning Protection/ Design, Telemetry, Access Control System, CCTV Camera Systems. 2. Fire - Including Specific Fire Safety Design, Utilising Acceptable Solutions (C/ASx), Verification Method (C/ VM2) and Alternative Solutions, Advanced Fire Engineering. Assessments, Hazard Mapping, Fire Peer Review and Construction Monitoring. 3. Water - Including hydrology, design, mapping, climate change impact assessment and geomorphic change.

On the Road

This section illustrates Skytec’s work, including challenges and the solutions provided to assist our clients’ needs. Work has recently started at the Burnham Army Camp south of Rolleston, Christchurch. The camp is the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) biggest base in the South Island. Established in 1923, the camp employs around 1300 army personnel. A fact possibly less well known is that the NZDF carry out a central government mandate to be ‘first responders’ in the event of natural disaster or extreme weather, which is a significant role in assisting our communities when storms, earthquakes, flooding happen - like the Edgecumbe (2017) and Waiho River (2019) floods.

(Photo: Anzac dawn service at the coastline. Supplied)

At the time of the Christchurch earthquakes, the camp’s main dining area mass-fed 3000 people at a sitting! Post-disaster relief and rescue is no small task: there is a need to be prepared, immediately available and be adequately resourced to keep going in an emergency. Burnham Camp itself is no different to the rest of NZ when it comes to experiencing the challenges of ageing infrastructure; including water and electrical supply. When the camp was first built it was planned to last for 15-25 years. This issue could affect how the NZDF keep operating when extreme events arise. For example, what buildings are strong enough to withstand a large earthquake; are some located close to streams, wetlands (flood risk), coastlines (sea level rise), are fuel storage areas dry and secure? Can the camp go off-grid as needed, or if there is a power cut? With our work at the camp ongoing, Skytec are undertaking assessment, feasibility and will eventually implement identified improvements to NZDF’s existing infrastructure to both improve its self-sufficiency, and ensure it is well equipped to serve the community in an emergency. You can read more about what improvements are in store for Burnham Army Camp right here.

Feedback A Community Member asked: “Can you find out if an existing building is ‘standing straight? Skytec: The answer is Yes! We carry out what is called Building Verticality & Floor Level Surveys regularly. These include doing full surveys of building structures. This type of survey is crucial in assisting building owners, engineers, architects, insurers and builders to identify problem areas e.g. whether a structure is leaning from the vertical or, rotated as a result of foundation and/or structural issues. This service also allows a line to be drawn in the sand prior to the occurrence of any structural damage caused by natural or man-made hazards. It also provides a scientific basis from which reliable damage assessments may be made relatively easily whilst minimising disputes. Do you have questions or enquiries? Please email us or contact us here J


Skytec Resonate Improving resilience together | +64 3 260 1950 | +64 210 396 901 © 2019 Skytec Engineering Consultants Limited

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