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Construction underway on Residential Rebuilds

Construction underway on First Two Multi-Unit Residential Rebuilds in Central Christchurch

Christchurch-based construction company Corbel Construction (Corbel) has been contracted to undertake the first two multi-unit residential rebuild projects in central Christchurch; ‘Wigram Courts’, 22 Park Terrace, and the Chester Street Apartments, 165 Chester Street.

The Chester Street Apartments comprise 15 two and three bedroom units and the 11 unit Wigram Court apartments on Park Terrace beside the Avon River have two blocks with four units and one of three units. The build cost for the Chester Street Apartments is $6.7 million and the cost for Wigram Courts is $7.4 million.

Corbel’s Commercial Division is undertaking both projects. This involves demolishing and replacing the existing buildings and hard landscaping that was irreparably damaged in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February 2011.

Vero Insurance, the insurance company for Chester Street and Wigram Courts are funding the rebuilds for the respective Body Corporates, who are Corbel Construction’s clients.

Corbel’s Managing Director Craig Jones said, “These are significant projects and are the first multi-unit residential housing developments to be rebuilt in the city centre. Corbel Construction was engaged following a competitive tender process which required us to have the projects completed prior to the end of March 2015 when the owners have been told they’ll be able to move back into their properties.”

Chester Street’s building consent was granted on 28 May 2014 and Park Terrace on 24 April 2014. Extensive ground work was then required prior to the start of construction which, on a typical day, involves around 30 people on each site.

“This is a tight timeframe particularly given the extent of ground stabilization required and the challenges involved in procuring long-lead building materials. We also needed to consult with multiple property owners, some of whom are living overseas, to ensure that they were kept fully informed throughout the design and build process, ” Craig Jones said.

“In addition, the Park Terrace site includes a number of protected trees and we have had to alter the building’s foundation structure so as not to interfere with the trees’ root structure. To this end, we have sought the advice of arborists to ensure that these trees aren’t affected by the buildings, now and in the future.”

Opus Architecture designed the new Chester Street Apartments and MAP Architects the new Wigram Court complex. While the completed complexes will both resemble the buildings they replaced, the use of more modern building materials and other enhancements will result in a more contemporary look and feel, as well as being fully compliant with the new building code and therefore more earthquake resilient.

While in many ways similar to the buildings they replace, the rebuilt developments will cost less to heat and have lower ‘whole-of-life’ costs due to the use of new building methodology and materials.

Craig Jones said, “Multi-unit rebuild projects are by their very nature exacting. You’re dealing with multiple owners who have an attachment to their properties and who want the work completed so as they can move back in and resume their lives. Corbel is committed to delivering these two projects on time and budget, and ensuring that the owners are delighted with their new property.”


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