The Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 devastated the city and 185 people lost their lives. After this tragic event, the need to build multi-storey buildings that will sustain the event of an earthquake has been front of mind.

Challenging service contractors across the country, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital project was the first health project in the country that saw seismic requirements in the design guidelines. It is imperative that the $2.4 billion project, one of the largest in the southern hemisphere, will remain operational if a one in ten-year event occurs.

According to research conducted by Geoscience Australia, there are on average one hundred earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or more in Australia each year. Earthquakes with a magnitude above 5.0 occur on average every one-to-two years; and about every ten years, Australia will likely experience a potentially damaging earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or more. Adelaide had a major earthquake in 1954 of magnitude 5.6 and the potential for future events is there.

It is due to these numbers, that there is an increasingly higher demand for custom seismic solutions on each construction site across Australia. The NCC (National Construction Code) requires all new and refurbished buildings to comply, to varying degrees, with the Earthquake Standard: AS 1170.4-2007: Structural Design Actions Part 4: Earthquake actions in Australia. This standard takes into consideration the earthquake load on both the structural and non-structural components to be considered.

Due to each building design and each trade needing to comply with varying minimum seismic requirements, it can be challenging for all on site trades, builders, installers and designers to fully understand how to achieve the base level requirements to ensure compliance. AS1170.4 is in some areas difficult to interpret.

At ACURA Group, we have dedicated years to understanding compliance requirements, visiting both the USA and Europe to ensure we are on top of industry standards. There is no negotiating on seismic compliance and thus we have partnered with industry leading suppliers from across the globe, and engineers to ensure we can develop the best seismic solution for your requirements.

There are strict performance criteria for each seismically approved product to ensure that certain structures, based on their level of performance, are able to continue performance during a seismic event. Buildings that fall within importance level three and four are those that ACURA Group have in-depth knowledge of, paired with extensive history of working  The table of importance levels is as follows:

Importance One

Importance Two

Structures presenting a low degree of hazard to life and other property in the case of failure.

Farm Buildings, minor storage facilities.

Buildings or structures of ordinary occupancy.

Residential, commercial and industrial buildings. (Except those stated in other categories)

Importance Three

Importance Four

Buildings and structures that:

  • Have large numbers of occupants
    • High-rise offices, sports arenas
  • Shelter persons with limited mobilitySupport lifelines and utilities important to a community’s welfareContain materials that pose some risk to the public if released
    • Jails, schools, healthcare facilities

Buildings and structures that:

  • Are essential to post-earthquake responseHousing large quantities of hazardous materials
  • Hospitals, police/fire stations and emergency communication centres


To ensure seismic compliance, all products undergo tension and shear load testing, and if successful, are placed within one of two performance categories: C1 and C2, C2 holding a more demanding testing regime, thus a higher level of seismic compliance. The table below highlights the different category testing.

Performance Category C1

Performance Category C2

    • Maximum crack width of 0.5mm
    • Performance stated in terms of strength at ultimate limit state
    • Scope of testing:
      • Pulsating tension load
      • Alternating shear load
  • Maximum crack width of 0.8mm
  • Performance stated in terms of strength at ultimate limit state, as well as displacement at damage limit state and ultimate limit state
  • Scope of testing:
    • Reference tests to failure
    • Pulsating tension load
    • Alternating shear load
    • Crack cycling and tension load 


With all this in mind, it is imperative that the supporting documentation is supplied for each compliant product. When partnered with ACURA Group, everyone on site can rest assured that we produce the required documentary evidence to demonstrate the seismic solution we have provided is in fact compliant with the requirements of the Earthquake Standard.

Depending on seismic requirements, and individual load requirements, some of ACURA Group’s range that are seismically rated are as below:

Acura siFramo –

Modular high-performance framing system with seismic loadings and

Zip Clip Wire & Bracing – 

Featuring a highly effective locking mechanism, the Zip-Clip wire system is unmatched in versatility, ease of installation, aesthetics and cost efficiencies.

Rod Stiffener –

Allowing for seismic compliance of threaded rod to avoid rod shearing in a seismic event

PB2 Hanger Mate -

High performance seismically rated screw anchor (also fire rated)



Acura Group Zip-Clip Seismic Bracing Solution

 Acura Group Zip-Clip Seismic Bracing Solution

ACURA Group  partners with high quality engineers that will design, implement seismic solutions in to plans and keep projects compliant.

Have a current of future project where services need to be installed to a seismic rating? Let us take the hassle out of seismic compliance for you. Give us a call or reach out with an email for one of our seismic experts to visit you at your office or on site.