Laidlaw College Seismic Resilience Upgrade

Customer: Laidlaw College

Contract: Design and construct

Location:  Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand

Building Solutions New Zealand & Pacific Islands


  • Retrofit the college to meet the Auckland Council earthquake code
  • July 2022 to September 2023

The Mechanical Division was contracted by Laidlaw College to work with their structural engineering consultant EQStuc to complete a significant refurbishment of an existing building into a new Student Learning Centre.

The historic building is five stories tall so a seismic retrofit to comply with the Auckland Council earthquake code, was always going to be a challenge.

The solution the engineers and Mechanical came up with was to install independent structural support at each story to strengthen the entire building and meet the code.

We were responsible for removing existing steelwork and replacing it with upgraded steel to improve the seismic bearing capability. The project scope included fabrication, welding, coating, and the onsite installation of seismic components such as shear brackets, over 2500 epoxied anchors, under-stair beams, and reinforcing structural beams.


Ferro and laser scanning techniques were used to identify existing services in the building, to relocate them efficiently where required, and to ensure the precise placement of reinforcements.

To enhance the building’s seismic resilience, we also built seismic filling set washers, significantly improving the strength of connections. Other work including pre-camber jacking work and conducting quality (direct tension pull testing) on installed anchors.

Reducing impacts

The steel work was installed on the underside of the ceilings and would be exposed, so it was important the welds were tidy with seamless cross-overs in the finished product. During the initial installation phase, we also planned and managed the work around some of the floors that were still occupied by the Council.

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