Structural Array Data

Structural arrays consist of multiple sensors within a building or structure. They provide data to help engineers understand how the structure responds to shaking or vibration.


The structural array programme of the GeoNet project aims to install multiple seismic instruments in about 30 representative buildings (commercial and residential) and bridges throughout New Zealand to gain insights into the earthquake engineering performance of those structures. One of the main objectives of the instrumentation of structures is to mitigate seismic risk by ensuring ‘safer’ performance of structures. The instruments in the structures record their performance in earthquake-shaking and severe wind events. Knowledge gained from this project will help to ensure that design and construction standards are more appropriately aligned to public expectations.

Apart from considerable gains in knowledge by the engineering community from this project, there are other long-term benefits. These include reduced disruption and downtime following an earthquake, assurances on building safety for owners and tenants, and acknowledgements of the public-good benefit.

The building instrumentation programme considers the distribution of seismic hazard and structures in New Zealand to identify typical and representative samples to instrument and monitor their response. Installations have been completed in Wellington, Levin, Christchurch, Nelson, and Napier and they are now operational. More buildings are planned to be instrumented in Christchurch, Gisborne, Palmerston North, Auckland, Westport, and Greymouth.

Structural Array Data Policy

Although all data from the GeoNet structural array programme are freely available for scientifc and engineering users, we require you to register your interest with us first.

Please complete a request to use building array data in writing, outlining the purpose and nature of their research. This request needs to be sent to the GeoNet Data Centre Manager. The application must list all structures you intend to download data from.

Note that, if requested by a building owner, GNS Science will supply a list of users who have been given data collected from their building.

Instrumentation and Locations

In any structural array installation a combination of the following types of instruments has been used. The choice of instruments is determined by the goals for the study of a particular structure:

Instrumented Structures

Structure City Opened Site Code Status
Canterbury University Physics Building Christchurch August 2007 CPXB Operational
GNS Science, Avalon Wellington November 2007 AVAB Operational
BNZ CentrePort Building Wellington April 2009 CPLB Site Closed: January 2019
Wellington Hospital Wellington April 2009 WHSB Operational
Te Horo House (timber building) Otaki December 2010 THOB Operational
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Nelson February 2011 NMIB Operational
Victoria University of Wellington Student Accommodation Building Wellington February 2011 VUWB Operational
Majestic Centre Wellington March 2011 MJCB Partial
Thorndon Flyover Wellington March 2011 TDFB Operational
Hawke's Bay Regional Council Napier August 2011 HBRB Operational
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology Christchurch May 2012 CPIB Operational
West Quay apartment building Napier May 2012 WQAB Operational
Tunnel Road Rail Overpass Christchurch December 2013 TRAB Operational
Tunnel Road Overpass Christchurch December 2013 TROB Operational
MBIE Stout Street Building Wellington 2014 STSB Operational
Jervios Street House Christchurch 2014 JSCB Operational
Canterbury University Business and Law Building Christchurch 2016 CBLB Operational
Christchurch Women's Hospital Christchurch July 2019 CWHB Operational
Canterbury University Civil and Mechanical Building Christchurch July 2019 CCMB Operational
Canterbury University James Hight Library Building Christchurch July 2019 CJHB Operational

Programme Advisory Panel

Advisory Panel Chairperson: Dr. S. R. Uma

GNS Science Departments:

External members: