Engineers warned not to use ‘pigtail‘ construction

Structural engineers and designers have been given an official warning against using a type of high-rise floor support that failed in the KaikĊura earthquake.

Three precast floor units dropped onto furniture below them at Statistics House in Wellington in the November 2016 earthquake. Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Loopbar floor supports, also called ‘pigtails‘, gave way catastrophically at Statistics House in Wellington in November 2016.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has now issued a warning that this construction technique is likely to fail to comply with the Building Code.

The Structural Engineers Society warned against them as far back as 2008.

Industry players say some designers have still been specifying them in Auckland, where earthquake risks are lower.