Beca uses Microsoft Azure to help earthquake-struck communities

Beca uses Microsoft Azure to help earthquake-struck communities

New Zealand-based professional services consultancy Beca is using Microsoft Azure to help earthquake-struck communities. Its cloud-based solution, Beacon System, notifies users of the likely impact on properties and organisations.  

By coupling seismic engineering expertise and software development capabilities, Beca created its real-time notification and response service to help the community and businesses to better assess and manage the impact of earthquakes on their infrastructure assets.

“An earthquake strikes, and people don’t know how big it was, how far away it was, whether it impacted their building, or if it’s safe to go back into the building,” said Neil Horsfield, general manager of Structures at Beca. “So, we wanted to develop some technology that would allow them to have that information in real time, immediately after the event and then start making decisions about whether they should be in the building or not. That was the genesis of what Beacon does.”

Beca is using Microsoft Azure Maps to cut analysis time from hours to seconds. Its previous Geospatial Imaging System (GIS) could not generate maps with the speed or scability necessary for the solution. 

Thanks to Beacon, property owners, tenants and the community can now quickly assess the impact of an earthquake on their property and respond faster.

“It’s starting to give people some reassurance about their everyday lives and providing information that allows organisations to make decisions about the safety of their people,” said Horsfield.

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