Demystifying the Barriers and Motivators for the Adoption of Base Isolation Systems in New Zealand

Temitope Egbelakin, Olabode Emmanuel Ogunmakinde, Temitope Omotayo, Adebayo Sojobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)


A base isolator is a proven system that can significantly reduce any damage to a building in the event of an earthquake. Despite their efficacy, seismic isolators are not widely used in New Zealand, with only about forty systems in use during the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury Earthquakes. This study seeks to investigate why base isolation systems are not frequently used in seismic strengthening projects and buildings in New Zealand. It also focuses on determining ways in which seismic isolators could become more widely used in New Zealand due to increased seismic activity. This study used an exploratory sequential mixed method design, in which qualitative data were collected first through in-depth face-to-face interviews, analysed, and used to construct the quantitative instrument, which was an online questionnaire. Data were obtained from construction professionals such as architects, engineers, site-based construction personnel, and quantity surveyors. The findings of this study indicated the need for an increased awareness of base isolation systems and improved universal guidelines for the design of seismic isolators. The motivators identified include provision of monetary incentives, such as reduced insurance premiums and financial subsidies, to encourage the adoption of seismic isolators. The factors preventing the adoption of base isolation systems in New Zealand were classified as human-related, safety and design-related, and cost-related. The study’s implication is that providing a universal guideline for seismic isolators can enhance designers’ confidence. Likewise, incentives may be provided to property owners to lower the cost of implementing a base isolation system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number522
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2022


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