Newtown Library Flats strengthening

From July 2014 to January 2015, earthquake strengthening work and fire safety improvements were made at Newtown Library Flats, making it stronger and safer.

Newtown Library Flats on Constable Street.
Newtown Library Flats on Constable Street

Next door to Newtown Library in Constable Street, the building houses Network Newtown and Smart Newtown – a part of the Newtown Community Centre – home to a community computer hub and meeting rooms, as well as six City Housing flats. The three-storey reinforced concrete building dates from 1955.

Why we did this work

The building was deemed earthquake-prone, achieving less than 33% of the new build standard (NBS). This work brings the building out of earthquake-prone status as part of our commitment to make Council-owned buildings stronger, safer and more resilient for our tenants and building users.

Work plan

To make the building stronger and safer, contractors Arrow International:

  • installed custom steel bracing to the façade and interior
  • installed new fire doors and windows as well as automatic heat and smoke detectors.

The custom steel bracing, fire doors and windows were produced off-site once measurements to check sizes were made.

The major strengthening work concentrated on the building’s ground floor where the steel bracing was be installed. Installing bracing like this is typically noisy work and steps were taken to minimise disruption.

While the work was being done, the ground floor community space remained open – only closing while the steel bracing was installed. City Housing tenants didn’t need to move and we worked with them to limit potential disruptions including noise, parking and dust.