Human Sciences Building

Human Sciences Building: room changes

Valid until further notice

Some lectures and tutorials scheduled to take place in the Human Sciences Building have been moved to new locations due to remedial work to the building since the switchboard fire in March.

Human Sciences Building: room changes
Detailed list of changes to lectures, tutorials scheduled in HSB. (26.6 kB, EXCEL)

Safety first

As remedial work continues on the Human Sciences Building (201E and 201N) following last week’s switchboard fire – and more spaces become available for reoccupation – the following steps have been taken to ensure the building is safe.

  • Immediately after the fire last Thursday morning, the building was checked for possible fire-induced asbestos contamination, and given the all-clear. The work was carried out by a WorkSafe-licensed asbestos assessor from asbestos specialists ATL Group.
  • The building was then cleaned (including horizontal surfaces and inside windows) under the direction of Contaminated Site Solutions, a company that specialises in post-fire cleaning services.
  • Analysis was carried out of the materials and electrical components contained in the burned switchboard (wire insulation, ceramics, plastic indicator lights etc.) with guidance from Air Matters Ltd, a specialist in air quality and occupational hygiene testing services. This confirmed a very low risk of residual contaminants (well below workplace exposure limits), highlighting three mitigating points in particular:
    • The limited scope of the fire, which damaged only part of one switchboard
    • The specialist post-fire cleaning process to remove residual particulates from surfaces
    • The extensive ventilation of the building that was carried out over several days before the all-clear for reoccupation was given
  • All remedial work has been led by Property Services with oversight from the Incident Management Team (IMT), and support from expert external contractors. The University’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing team has continually reviewed all aspects of the work and has endorsed the approach taken.
  • Any remaining areas of the building that are still off-limits are closed not because they pose a contamination risk but because they are internal spaces that require mechanical ventilation, which is not yet available.

If you have any queries concerning the state of the building please direct them to Emmett Mackle, Associate Director Facilities.

Social Sciences Building (201E and 201N) re-occupation information

The Social Sciences Building (201E and 201N) is now available for re-occupation as follows:

Staff and PhD Students

All offices on external walls are available as normal. Please open windows and leave doors ajar when in the office to assist with air flow and natural ventilation.

  • PhD students whose offices are in internal rooms have been moved to 201e level 6 external offices. 
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants with offices in internal rooms have been moved to 201e level 6 rooms 657, 655, and 651.
  • Staff, PhD students and GTAs will be able to briefly enter internal offices to collect any research materials or items urgently needed, but will not be able to stay.
  • Tutor consultation rooms have been relocated to level 6 rooms 650, 652, 656, 643.
  • A new meeting room has been set up in room 661 (capacity approximately 12-15); this is being added to the Room Bookings system.
  • The Tuakana space has been relocated to level 6 room 660.
  • The tearoom (Rooms 802/4) is available for use.
  • The Level 4 Student Hub (informal student study space), Arts Students' Centre, Student Engagement, Assignment Centre are all open as usual.
  • The Media & Communication TV Studio (Black Box), undergraduate edit suites (154) and the Macintosh lab (160) are available as usual.
  • The Arts Graduate Study Centre is open for normal hours.
  • The Anthropology Spatial Analysis Lab has been relocated to Level 6 room 644.

Areas not able to be accessed

  • Meeting rooms (807 and 401) and internal and therefore not available. A replacement meeting room is being set up on level 6 of the building.
  • Computer Labs 259 and 151: alternative locations are being identified for scheduled classes.  Students are being directed to Arts labs in the Fale Pasifika, building 207 room 302 (CLL), Māori Studies and to the Kate Edger Information Commons. Limited class usage can take place in lab 151.
  • The level 3 student hub (informal study area, computer and print stations, lockers) is not accessible at all due to lack of ventilation.
  • The Anthropology DNA labDrama rehearsal space and Arts storeroom on level 3 are not accessible at all due to lack of ventilation. An alternative location is being identified for Drama.