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Seismic Innovation For Southern Stone

Southern Stone Masons Canterbury : Master Builder Award set in quake proof Southern Stone.

David Packman of Southern Stone

An innovative method to install the timeless quality of stone cladding resistant to seismic activity has helped a Christchurch house renovation project take the regional Supreme winner title in this year’s Registered Master Builder’s House of the Year award.

Over the last few years Southern Stonemasons Canterbury designed and developed seismic resistant solutions in response to the Canterbury earthquakes to confidently future proof new stonework against any possible quake events.

The result is a New Zealand building industry innovation that will enable stonework to be a much more usable material.

Using stainless steel clips and stone ties the company developed and tested, Southern Stone can now securely install stonework to post quake code standards enabling homeowners to consider stone cladding with confidence.

Another development by Southern Stonemason’s Canterbury owner David Packman is the use of a much lighter 25 to 35mm thick stone cut by the company’s specialised machinery to create a stable, safe veneer to be used on multi floor buildings and align with engineering specifications for load weights on foundations, while retaining the timeless dry stack style used for thousands of years

The Cashmere house which won the award showcased the new technology paired with a product that has been used for thousands of years.

“We were asked to help restore this stunning home to its former glory. Our qualified stonemasons removed the stone blocks. We cut them down to a light weight 35mm stone slip using specialist diamond cutting equipment. These stone slips were then re-installed using the clips we had developed. This enabled us to also instal stone to the high chimney area that was over the 3 meter threshold using the clip with unique tabs inserted into the beds of the stones below and above, creating a lightweight stone solution of unequalled strength. The uniqueness of these stone clips are that they are designed to be used with New Zealand stones in light weight solutions, maintaining the authenticity of solid stonework. In a seismic event, they remain stuck to the wall.”

Establishing Southern Stonemasons in 2002, David is an active member of the New Zealand Stonemasons Association (NZSMA) and has an artisan’s passion for our oldest building material. He holds the highest qualification of the industry in New Zealand, is a nominated stonemason for Christchurch City Council projects and a qualified quarryman with over three decades of experience.

In 2019 David took over management of the historical Charteris Bay Quarry in order to rebuild the historic Lyttelton railway tunnel entrance. He still manages the quarry today for the historic public reserve at Orton Bradley park.

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