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Demolition of Wellington building to start

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/11/2016

Work to begin deconstructing a Wellington high-rise building damaged in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake will start on Thursday afternoon.

The eight-storey office block at 61 Molesworth Street suffered serious structural damage in the November 14 quake.

Part of the building, a podium, will be demolished first to allow a high-reach crane to move into a position where it can begin deconstructing the top floors of the building.

The initial work is expected to take about two days and the deconstruction work between 10-14 days.

Wellington City Council took over the deconstruction of the building on Wednesday from owner Prime Property Group to speed up its demolition.

The council's manager of building consents and compliance, Mike Scott, said cordons around the building could be reduced after a week's work.

"When we start moving the work to the rear of the site and the risk of collapse reduces we can look to opening part of Molesworth Street," he said.

Mr Scott said the council and demolition company CERES would use dust suppression constantly during demolition to help contain dust from building materials, including asbestos.

"The air quality will be constantly monitored at a number of places around the site, and if necessary, deconstruction work will be stopped immediately," he said.

Prime Property Group is under investigation after it emerged a family had been living in the building, which was not consented for residential purposes.

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