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$ 16 million bill for earthquake repair at Kate Sheppard’s Wellington apartment

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Kate Sheppard Apartments, across from Parliament, Wellington. Image / Mark Mitchell

Every window in Kate Sheppard’s Wellington apartments is being replaced as part of a $ 16 million repair bill nearly five years after the Kaikōura earthquake.

The 10-story complex is covered in white and pale green casing to help protect it while work is being carried out.

The building is located on Molesworth Street, opposite Parliament, and consists of 64 high-quality spacious apartments.

The area was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which struck after midnight on November 14, 2016.

The nine-story building above Molesworth St with the Defense House on Aitken St. had to be demolished.

Kate Sheppard’s apartments remained structurally sound after the earthquake but suffered internal and external damage.

The head of the board, Alan Stewart, said every earthquake was different.

“There is no telling how the earthquake will affect some buildings and not others. This earthquake was particularly severe in the Thorndon area, but in other parts of the city it did not cause any damage at all.”

61 Molesworth Street was demolished after the Kaikoura earthquake. Image / Mark Mitchell

Stewart told the Herald that a $ 3 million insurance claim had been filed to repair the interior of the building, which had plagued cracks in paint, tile and tile.

Stewart said a separate $ 13 million insurance claim has been filed to replace all of the building’s exterior windows.

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“From the outside, all you could see wrong with our building were cracks coming out of the corner windows in the gypsum finish.

“On the surface it didn’t look so bad.”

On closer inspection, however, it became clear that re-closing the windows was not sufficient to ensure that the building was waterproof.

The total bill for earthquake repairs is $ 16 million. Image / Mark Mitchell

So the decision was made to replace all windows and balcony doors.

The windows should be removed and then replaced with a plastic corrugated sheet in the meantime.

A new frame is placed, then the glass, followed by the surrounding wood and the final paint job.

The two-year program began in July last year and is now set to end in December, six months earlier. This is thanks to the efficiencies that are found as the work progresses.

The majority of people who live in the apartments, Stewart said, continued to operate as usual despite the construction being disrupted and the building rolled up, meaning they couldn’t see the windows.

He said there were mixed feelings about the business, but the majority of the apartment owners were helpful.

“Few were bothered by the intrusion and lack of visibility. In general, tenants are more bothered than landlords.”

The apartments were constructed in 2004 and subsequently listed on the market as 100% of the new building standard.

Stewart indicated that the building will undergo a new seismic assessment once construction work is completed.

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