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TRACKLOK Seismic Bracing Protects Burwood Hospital

Opened in June 2016, the Burwood Hospital redevelopment represents an integral part of Christchurch's healthcare capability. Utilising a specialist international healthcare design team, the project delivers a world-class healthcare facility and includes space for 230 new inpatient beds, a new entrance and cafe area, an extended radiology department, an extended outpatient and procedural area, and a new kitchen and back of house support areas to service the increased hospital size.

The Challenge

While all non post-disaster designated hospitals above a certain size must meet seismic importance level IL3, Burwood's location in Christchurch, a seismically vulnerable area, meant that the client required an enhanced IL3 level and increased damage control level in order to minimise downtime of the facility following a seismic event. To mitigate the increased risk of damage and injury from the partition walls, an innovative and proven bracing solution was required to secure partition walls throughout the 32,000m² project. The system needed to be flexible and able to cater for congestion in a service intensive plenum.  

The Solution

An initial proposal was to use a bespoke system comprising steel posts every three metres as bracing to the part height partition walls, however, this was viewed as inflexible and untested. Collaborative work between project architects Jasmax, Klein and Sheppard and Rout and the structural engineers Beca, led to the specification of TRACKLOK. The TRACKLOK Seismic Bracing System has been specifically designed to absorb seismic energy while securing partition walls and glazing lines under ceiling to the slab above.

A major advantage of the TRACKLOK system over a bespoke design is that it has been extensively tested, which gave Barry Williams from Klein the assurance he needed. "To meet the IL3 enhanced requirement for this project we needed a system we were sure could accommodate a 45mm inter-storey drift. We knew TRACKLOK could accommodate 2.5% movement which fell well within our requirements."

Approximately 8,000 units of TRACKLOK were installed and provided ease of use and flexibility that delivered significant benefits to the project. "Each TRACKLOK brace attaches easily to the top plate with a bolt to the steel stud allowing for flexibility around where the braces are placed," explains Williams. "This meant we could avoid clashes with services in the ceiling space and if a wall needed to be moved it was easy to do so, unlike using steel posts which would have required significant effort to reposition."

The Outcome

Specification of the TRACKLOK system helped to ensure the new Burwood facility met the stringent requirements of an IL3 enhanced building, delivering maximum protection from damage and injury caused by partition walls in a seismic event. In February 2016 the system was tested in a real life magnitude five earthquake experienced during construction; Samir Govind, Technical Director of Structural Engineering at Beca reported, "that TRACKLOK performed very well with no apparent damage to the facility."

"The best thing about TRACKLOK is that it accommodated the extra movement we needed fulfilling our performance requirements," concludes Williams. "It's a good product and we've continued to specify TRACKLOK."

Project: Burwood Hospital Redevelopment
Architects: Klein, Jasmax and Sheppard & Rout in association.
Structural Engineers: Beca
Main Contractor: Leighs Construction Ltd
Product Profiled: TRACKLOK Seismic Bracing System
Supplier: Potter Interior Systems

View more information on Potter Interior Systems, including contact details.
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