Mornington Island Community Cyclone Resistance
Bligh Tanner has enjoyed working closely with Peak Services and the Mornington Island Community to identify building structural deficiencies and recommend critical repairs to existing buildings on the island. The Mornington Island township is located on the coastline of Mornington Island within the Gulf of Carpentaria. The region is regularly exposed to cyclones which necessitate evacuation of the community, there being no cyclone resistant structure on the island.
The project initially involved the assessment of the buildings to resist the cyclonic winds that the region is regularly exposed to. The subsequent phases of the project involved the development of engineering solutions to repair and improve the buildings ability to resist cyclonic winds.
Simon Kochanek, one of Bligh Tanners Principal Engineers who has extensive experience in the remediation of existing structures completed structural inspections and audit of almost 80 buildings on Mornington Island at the end of 2018. The investigation works included the inspection of all accessible components of the buildings including subfloors and roof spaces. The inspection works identified numerous existing buildings with significant deficiencies making them unsafe if exposed to even moderate wind speeds.
Some of the building deficiencies identified included:
- Limited or inadequate roof tie down.
- Inadequate bracing, or structure for lateral stability
- Inadequate tiedown to prevent overturning or uplift.
- Structures with inadequate member sizes to resist imposed wind actions
- Corrosion, decay or termite damage which reduced the capacity of members to resist required actions.
- Previous modifications resulting in the removal of structural members required to resist the imposed wind actions.
The engineering audits allowed the buildings to be rated and categorised to determine their likely ability to resist cyclonic winds with recommendations for repairs and strengthening to improve capacity. Bligh Tanner senior staff used their experience in working in remote areas and communities to develop practical engineering solutions to repair the structural deficiencies identified. Solutions were tailored to suit the local community, accessible materials, and skills available on the island.
Bligh Tanner responded quickly to address remediation requirements to allow repair works to be completed prior to the 2019/2020 cyclone season. The engineering repairs and solutions that were developed were detailed to allow for flexibility with installation and to be cost effective to install, to ensure the local community could undertake as much remediation works as possible with the limited funds available.
Bligh Tanner has been delighted to be part of the project and to work closely with the remote community to deliver safer buildings for the Mornington Island residents.
Please click here to view pages 68 -70 of an article from Engineering for Public Works (EPW), the professional journal of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Queensland (IPWEAQ) and read more about Mornington Island and the Places of Refuge projects.