A series of seminars on Engineering the Repair and Retrofitting of Steel Structures took place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in April 2015. More than 60 engineers have attended the events.

The seminars were presented by Robert E. Shaw, one of the leading experts on seismic welded and bolted connections, the Chairman of the International Institute of Welding (IIW) Commission XV Design, Analysis and Fabrication of Welded Structures.

This seminar was part three of the very successful seminar series Achieving Seismic Performance in Steel Connectionspresented by Robert E. Shaw earlier. While the previous seminars addressed issues around design of welded and bolted structural connections, the focus this time was on Engineering the Repair and Retrofitting of Steel Structures.

IIW Chairman Robert Shaw delivering a seminar in his specialty as one of the leading seismic welding and bolted connections engineers.

Existing steel structures may need repair of structural damage from corrosion, impact, fire, seismic events, fatigue or other loading conditions. Retrofitting may be needed for member or connection strengthening or stiffening, seismic upgrading, or fatigue life extension.

This seminar discussed recommendations applicable to steel buildings, bridges, and industrial facilities. It covered welding, inspection and quality assurance issues.
The AS/NZS 1554 series on Structural steel welding and the NZS 3404.1 Steel structures Standard formed the basis of discussion, supplemented extensively by numerous resources providing the world’s best practices such as AISC documents, ASCE/SE 41-13, and AWS codes.

References have been made to the Steel Fabricator Certification (SFC) Scheme that has been introduced to ensure that certified New Zealand fabricators manufacture structural steelwork according to international best practice. The SFC also covers repair and retrofitting work.

While visiting Christchurch, Mr Shaw was impressed by the number of the steel frame buildings under construction and innovative seismic design solutions deployed. Mr Shaw says that that New Zealand is now at the cutting edge of creative seismic design that fully utilises advantages of steel as ultimate construction material.