Draft paper on Hollowcore Strongback retrofit

A robust new retrofit for hollow-core floors named the ‘strongback’ has recently been developed and tested as part of the ReCast Floors project. This draft paper contains detailed design guidance for this retrofit.

The authors (Frank Büker, Nic Brooke, Lucas Hogan, Ken Elwood, Des Bull and Tim Sullivan) welcome feedback ahead of the final publication of the paper.

An advance copy of the draft paper is available by clicking the link below:

[View Document]

Edit 31/5/2022: The document has now been superseded by the papers published in the SESOC special issue on the ReCast floor project [Link]

SESOC’s Position Statement on Sustainable Design

Recognition of the environmental impacts of our work has long been an important part of our profession, as included in the Engineering New Zealand Code of Ethics. There is currently a growing focus on how to address this concern, in a way that recognises the ongoing importance of balancing environmental, economic, social, and cultural sustainability initiatives and outcomes on projects.

New Zealand’s net-zero-carbon legislation requires all industries to contribute to the carbon reduction journey and this is no different for the Construction and Structural Design industries. The Building and Construction sector currently accounts for around 15% of New Zealand’s annual carbon emissions (MBIE,2021); and around half of this is through the materials used in buildings and infrastructure.

SESOC recognises that carbon emissions reduction requirements will have a significant impact on structural engineering practice in the coming years. In fulfilment of our purposes as a society, we will encourage and support structural engineers to meet these emissions reduction requirements by (i) promoting excellence in design, (ii) disseminating relevant knowledge, (iii) promoting and participating in education and training of structural engineers (iv) providing a forum for communication, (v) participating in the development of standards and guidelines as appropriate, (vi) promoting safe economical construction in accordance with relevant standards, and (vii) working with like-minded organisations.

As examples of these initiatives in support of New Zealand’s net-zero-carbon targets, SESOC:

  • welcomes and supports the Whole-of-Life Embodied Carbon Emissions Reduction Frameworks, part of MBIE’s Building for Climate Change Programme.
  • encourages our members to engage with, understand, and undertake embodied carbon assessments for their projects and report the results widely to increase the overall ‘carbon literacy’ of the industry (and clients) ahead of the expected mandatory reporting requirements from Central Government.
  • has established a Sustainable Design Task Group which has begun to collect guidance, training and other useful resources HERE. This provides a starting point for all structural engineering professionals interested in upskilling and becoming conversant with the language of sustainable design and embodied carbon reduction strategies.
  • welcomes and supports the promotion by a number of leading structural engineers of a “Structural Engineers Declaration ” encouraging Companies to change the way they work.
  • Will continue to facilitate opportunities for continuing professional development on the subject of sustainability and emissions reduction as they relate to structural engineering practice in New Zealand.

Download as a pdf file:

SESOC Emerging Structural Engineers Scholarship

Update 8th June 2020:

The 2020 SEAOC Convention in Maui will not be going ahead as planned due to the risk to health from Covid-19.  Instead, a scaled-back virtual convention that includes the normal, yearly business, and as well as some technical presentations will run. In light of this, SESOC has decided to not award the scholarship for 2020.  

We look forward to receiving your applications in 2021 to align with a successful SESOC Conference and SEAOC Convention for our Emerging Structural Engineering Network.


SESOC Management Committee – Call for Nominations

Dear Member,

The Structural Engineering Society New Zealand, SESOC, now represents over 2500 members and is the pre-eminent technical society for professional structural engineers throughout New Zealand. The Society collaborates with Engineering New Zealand, IStructE, SEAOC and other associated technical groups such as the Geotechnical, Concrete, Timber Design and Earthquake Engineering Societies.  SESOC regularly provides technical guidance and support to MBIE, Standards NZ, Engineering NZ and other organisations responsible for the production of technical literature and practice guidelines.  The Regional Structural Groups in Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Christchurch, and Otago are affiliated with SESOC and run meetings throughout the year, with a variety of speakers and site visits to local projects. Other core activities of the Society are the publication of a well-respected half-yearly journal, running of practitioner-focused seminars on structural engineering topics, and a biannual conference.

The management of the society has been well served by the current and previous management committees. Committee members are expected to lead projects of relevance to the society and report on progress at the quarterly management meetings. Working on the management committee is a worthwhile and rewarding contribution to SESOC and to the structural engineering profession. Here is the opportunity to support your Society. The committee for 2020 will be announced at the AGM to be held in Christchurch on Thursday 27 February 2020.

If you wish to stand for election, please complete the self-nomination form at this link and return by post or email to be received no later than 4 pm on Thursday 30 January 2020 to:

John Snook

SESOC Executive Officer

PO Box 3839, Christchurch 8140

Email     executiveofficer@sesoc.org.nz

Note:   Each nomination is to be accompanied by a brief (one quarter page A4) biographical detail.

The Institution of Structural Engineers Affiliate Scheme

SESOC enjoys a close relationship with the Institution of Structural Engineers facilitated by the Memorandum of Understanding between our two organisations together with personal representation and communications.

Last year Ian Firth and Martin Powell, President and CEO of IStructE respectively, attended the SESOC conference in Wellington. As well as presenting at that conference they engaged in discussion with SESOC members and came away encouraged to further strengthen linkages not only at organisational level but also directly with our members.

Subsequent discussions with the SESOC Management Committee have resulted in the
attached special promotion to SESOC members, offering Affiliate Membership of the Institution of Structural Engineers. IStructE see this is an opportunity to be part of the worldwide network of Institution members in a way which does not create any conflict with
membership of SESOC.

IStructE say that beyond the membership aspect, this arrangement opens up information
about and access to the Institution’s growing digital offering and will allow a greater sharing of knowledge so that collectively, structural engineers around the world are better resourced in terms of networks, technical information and development opportunities.

This offer is direct from IStructE and is for members to consider and to make arrangements individually with the Institution.

Read more here or join today at http://www.istructe.org/membership/affiliate-scheme/

IStructE 2018 President

SESOC is pleased to welcome Faith Wainwright as the 2018 IStructE President. A video of her inaugural address: “Working Together for a Creative and Collaborative Future” can be found here. Faith Wainwright is a Director of Arup. Her career has included the structural design of many award-winning buildings. Faith has a passion for collaboration and knowledge-sharing, and currently leads Arup’s Skills Networks.

Software Report

MemDes: SESOC branded MemDes has been available for download since June 2017.

Functionality includes: • Standard Windows-style distribution/installation

  • SESOC registration/activation screens; SESOC branding, along with standard copyright and disclaimer notices
  • Compatibility with Windows 10
  • Updated user manual
  • Minor enhancements to the user interface
  • Indication of section availability, particularly for hollow sections

MemDes Plus: A major enhancement to MemDes is now complete and is currently undergoing verification. Formal release is expected in the New Year. It will include the provision of a module to provide single span beam analysis capacity and serviceability checks. This will use the existing MemDes capability to check each segment along the beam.

GenCol + Shearwall Design: Develop is progressing to provide an additional module to provide reinforced concrete shearwall design capability to GenCol. This capability will be to NZS 3101, with focus on the shear, confinement and transverse steel detailing provisions, for rectangular shearwalls. This enhancement will provide a NZ code based design tool for use across the industry. Expeced release is mid-2018.