Foundation System Gives Chch Home Owners Peace of Mind
15 February 2013
World-Leading Kiwi Foundation System Gives Christchurch Home Owners Peace of Mind
A revolutionary new foundation system created in New Zealand by Firth, which will help protect Christchurch home owners from earthquake liquefaction, is being unveiled today.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee launched Firth’s latest RibRaft® technology which allows floor construction to sit ON the ground, not IN it has been developed to provide solutions for residential housing and light commercial buildings in post-earthquake Canterbury.
Previously the product has been available for use on land labelled Technical Category 1 (TC1 meaning unlikely future land damage from liquefaction) and TC2 (minor to moderate land damage from liquefaction possible in earthquakes).
Now, Firth has created a TC3 RibRaft® solution which can be used widely in TC3 areas.
There are around 28,000 properties in TC3 areas. Around 12,500 of these homes have major foundation and pile damage that will require more investigation of the ground around them. This means engineers need to look at TC3 land more closely and decide what foundations are needed so the property will perform well and be safe in future earthquakes.
“On TC3 land, moderate to significant damage from liquefaction is possible in future significant earthquakes,” says Andrew Moss, General Manager of Firth. “After eight months in development, we have now created a viable, cost effectiveTC3 foundation option which will help give home owners and builders more peace of mind.”
Mr Moss says the
Christchurch City Council has just approved the first set of
plans using RibRaft® TC3 – for a new home in Hoon Hay.
Firth’s RibRaft® is seismically strong, energy efficient and cost effective due to reduced time and labour required. It is also less disruptive on the land as it lessens excavation.
The newly-patented TC3 system comprises of upper and lower slabs that can be jacked apart following an earthquake that causes settlement, allowing the house to be re-levelled quickly and easily with reoccupation inside four weeks. In the event of another earthquake, the foundation can be re-levelled by a builder rather than requiring specialist personnel.
“There’s been extraordinary demand for the Ribraft® EQ version which now accounts for a third of all new building foundations in Christchurch. We now expect strong demand for RibRaft® TC3 which may well be the answer to the prayers of many,” says Mr Moss.
Matt Tipa from construction project managers Arrow International welcomes the launch of RibRaft®TC3. “We support any initiatives that can provide us with consentable and viable options.”
O’Neil, the Christchurch general manager for Stonewood
Homes, also endorses the product. “It has a huge amount of
potential and we are in the process of obtaining approval to
use the system in our designs.”
Note to Editors:
Firth RibRaft ® is the standard foundation system using a combination of polystyrene rods, steel reinforcing rods, plastic spacers and Firth RaftMix concrete. It is the only floor system in New Zealand to receive Codemark certification by Certmark Australasia.
Firth RibRaft® EQ is a RibRaft ® Foundation System that has been specifically engineered to comply with Department of Building and Housing guidance documents for TC2 land.
Firth RibRaft® TC3 adds a steelcrete base slab and patented relevelling technology to allow the slab to be relevelled easily following a seismic event.
Firth is the largest and only national manufacturer offering New Zealanders a complete range of concrete products, systems and solutions.
The Firth brand is synonymous with concrete innovation, leadership, consistent product quality, and superior customer service. Over the last 80 years, Firth has serviced the needs of the New Zealand construction market by taking every opportunity to meet and exceed customers' expectations.
Firth has a team of about 650 people, working in more than 65 plant sites throughout New Zealand, delivering a complete range of concrete products, systems and solutions to customers throughout the country.
Firth is a subsidiary of Fletcher Building Limited.