It’s safe to say that Christchurch has been leading the way when it comes to earthquake research, as we become determined to be an infrastructural world leader.
Now a University of Canterbury infrastructure engineering programme has been awarded $12 million investment funding from the MBIE Partnerships Scheme for a project titled ‘Infrastructure Systems Engineered for Improved Value and Resilience’.
Led by UC Quake Centre director Dr Robert Finch, with UC’s Ada Rutherford, Professor of Architectural Engineering Larry Bellamy as the Science Leader, the project’s purpose is to transform the building and construction industry so that it leads the world in digital design and construction methods, material and manufacturing technologies, and construction systems.
UC Quake Centre director Dr Finch says the sector is internationally competitive, enhances the wealth, resilience and wellbeing of New Zealand communities and supports higher levels of economic growth.
“It means both industry and Government can now work together to drive research outcomes that will change and improve the performance and affordability of infrastructure development in New Zealand over the long term,” he says.
“Ultimately this will contribute to wealth creation for the country and more resilient communities.”
Professor Bellamy says the aim is for commercialisation of new digital and material technologies to be under way within two years of the project ending, spawning a new manufacturing sector and significantly improving the productivity of the building industry.
“After five years, we expect leading firms will be utilising new building methods and technologies with direct financial benefits to New Zealand in the hundreds of millions each year.”