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.

Instrumentation and Locations

Whilst structural arrays primarily record earthquake shaking and vibration, other instrumentation can also be deployed. This page also lists the completed structures to date.

Structural Array Data Policy

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

Structural Array Photos

A set of images of buildings, structures and instruments in the structural array programme.

Structural Array Publications

A list of structural array project publications.

Programme Advisory Panel

Panel members


S.R. Uma, Chairperson

Risk and Society, GNS Science

Mostafa Nayyerloo

Risk and Society, GNS Science

Andrew King

Risk and Society, GNS Science

Graeme McVerry

Risk and Society, GNS Science

Jim Cousins

Risk and Society, GNS Science

Ken Gledhill

GeoNet, GNS Science

Kevin Fenaughty

GeoNet, GNS Science

Lara Bland

GeoNet, GNS Science

Barry Davidson

Compusoft Engineering, Auckland

Quincy Ma

University of Auckland, Auckland

Nawawi Chouw

University of Auckland, Auckland

Gregory MacRae

University of Canterbury, Christchurch

Alistair Cattanach

Dunning Thornton Consultants, Wellington

Rob Jury

Beca, Thorndon, Wellington

Win Clark

New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering, Executive Officer

John Wood

John Wood Consulting, Lower Hutt

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GeoNet is a collaboration between the Earthquake Commission and GNS Science.

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