Saturday, March 26, 2011

Laycock's Demolition, Zone 3 Cordon, Christchurch Quake

National State of Emergency, 14.03.11. On my wanderings in zone 3 cordon of the CBD, post 6.3 magnitude Feb 22 quake, I came upon demolition of Laycock's old, brick & concrete bldg, corner Durham St Nth / Salisbury St. It was the second post quake demolition I'd seen in half an hour. The first I saw was old, brick Saggio di vino, damaged in the Sept 4 quake, fence cordoned & scaffolded for months, then trashed in the Feb 22 quake.

Laycock's was on the edge of the no access, red zone of the CBD cordon. Two NZDF soldiers periodically emerged from their fence & blue tarp hut to control access of people entering the red zone, while the demolition machine lunged, grabbed & bashed. Several bystanders watched the demolition.

A Canterbury University professor, engineer, slept through the Sept 4 quake & 5+ months of 1 000s of aftershocks, then 5+ weeks post Feb 22 quake the professor woke up in his ivory tower, blathering in The Press, 28.03.11, about his research need for Christchurch quake damaged bldgs.

He offered no condolences nor remorse to families of 185 people killed in the Feb 22 quake, but insulted families with his breathless research suggestion. Never mind the injured. He had enough time to research quake damaged bldgs post Sept 4 quake, never mind all those years before Christchurch quakes struck:

"The urgent short-term necessity is to investigate and test damaged buildings before they are demolished. Longer-term education and research is needed to develop the research capability, in both staff and equipment, to transfer the results into design of future New Zealand buildings and infrastructure.

The Christchurch earthquake represents by far the largest 'experimental test' ever done on modern buildings designed and built to top international standards.

The damaged 'test specimens' are urgently awaiting scientific investigation and detailed analysis before they disappear..."

Many bldgs had already vanished in the national state of emergency, CBD forbidden zones, including the no access, red zone, where design & engineering mistakes would be buried by demolishers. The professor woke up far too late for experiments & analysis.

I coolpixed Laycock's demolition for about 10 minutes. I didn't stay long, as it was midday sun, 30C. I wanted to see more of zone 3 & I feared asbestos dust, brick dust & concrete dust gusting from the demolition. The NZDF soldiers wore dust masks, as so much liquefaction silt & brick dust flew.

Images, quake damaged Durham St Nth:

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Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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