Couva Hospital – Goetechnical site assessment report

August 26, 2013.

The proposed Couva Children’s Hospital has been designed to the guidelines of the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure (MOWI) in its most recent revision, March 2010. This guideline recommends the use of the International Building Code (IBC) 2006 be in conjunction with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) codes; ASCE 7–2005.

The IBC 2006 and its updates to 2009 and 2012 use site-specific probabilistic methods which characterise potential building sites on a rectangular spatial grid of points over Trinidad and Tobago and surrounding areas.

The IBC methodology requires the input of seismic ground acceleration values be used in conjunction with published Seismic Hazard Maps as was done for the proposed hospital site. In the case of Trinidad and Tobago these Seismic Hazard Maps are those published by the Seismic Research Unit and are available on its website;

Potential earthquake sources are then represented as areal sources with zone/area specific earthquake activity. These probabilistic bedrock site accelerations computed in this manner form the cornerstone/genesis of site-specific seismic analyses, where the site-specific soil parameters and site geometry are obtained from detailed geotechnical site investigations. This methodology was followed at the proposed Couva Children’s Hospital site in the development of the design values for structural building elements.

UDeCOTT is a responsible state agency and maintains that full due diligence was adhered to before design and construction of the project even commenced, with the completion of a comprehensive Geotechnical Investigation conducted by a highly respected and independent company. UDeCOTT stands firmly by these findings.

UDeCOTT affirms that any professionally recognised group with an interest for example the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago (APETT) can write to UDeCOTT requesting the information and UDeCOTT will ensure that the information will be made readily available. UDeCOTT cannot however respond to ‘anonymous engineers’.

The full Geotechnical Site Assessment Report will be available to UDeCOTT in a week and it will then be disseminated to the Media and uploaded to UDeCOTT’s website at


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