Each year, we seek member feedback and input into the research programs that HERA should focus on for the following year.

These are then considered by the Steel Research Panel, which comprises a range of HERA members and recommendations are made to the CEO. The CEO then includes these in the budget that the HERA Board then approves.

It is that time of year again and we are seeking your input. Please let us know if you have any specific project ideas for the Structural Systems team. They can then work with you to prepare a Project Proposal for consideration by the Steel Research Panel. These are assessed against three criteria: research excellence required, impact and alignment with HERA strategy.

We also create project proposals based on member feedback that we receive throughout the year. So far, we are developing proposals in the following areas based on membership feedback to date. Please provide your feedback if any of these are ones you would really like us to undertake as a priority:


Sustainability research projects

  • Understanding, and mitigating, the risk of climate change induced corrosion on steel buildings within the net-zero carbon context.
  • Development of innovative circular business models: transition toward sustainable circular economy.
  • This year, HERA commissioned WSP to investigate required actions for HERA to make steel the low-carbon material of choice. This project identified several areas of potential focus (we have excluded the areas that HERA is already working on):
      • Reviewing The LCA Process
      • Incorporate the Revised LCA and Introduce into the Hierarchy of Net Zero Design within the New Zealand Context
      • Rethinking the Service Life of Structures and related Updates the NZ Building Code
      • Sequestering Carbon – State of the Art Review
      • Rethinking the Design of New Structures- Design Guidance
      • Addressing the Challenges with Reusing Steel Members (already partially addressed in our existing Material Passport project).


Structural fire research projects

If you were not aware, it is worth pointing out that HERA has invested in developing structural fire performance capabilities, through the employment of Fanqin Meng.

  • Optimisation of fire protection for structural steel – to develop a tool to find the most cost-effective option to achieve a specified fire-rated requirement. The variables are steel section, estimation of fire protection, protection materials, and steel grades.
  • Potential electric vehicle fire impact on buildings – The risk of new vehicle generation (EV) on structures and infrastructure is unknown. This research will investigate the risk of EVs on buildings and public infrastructure and develop relevant design guidelines or technical reports if required.
  • Structural fire performance of most common structural steel – AS/NZS 2327 provision required SHS 160 to meet specified structural fire requirements. As per HERA members, SHS 150 is more common section. This research project will investigate the requirement and appropriate solution to include SHS 150 to meet the standard requirements.


Steel bridges

Following the re-establishment of the HERA bridge group, which met in September, several potential projects were identified:

  • Standardised short-span steel bridges
  • High-strength steel for bridge superstructure


Give your feedback today!

If you have any feedback or specific project ideas for the Structural Systems team please provide them directly to our General Manager Structural Systems, Kaveh Andisheh, .

From here, they’ll work to prepare a project proposal for consideration by the Steel Research Panel which will be assessed against research excellence required, impact and alignment with HERA strategy.