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December 2nd, 2014 | Posted by PVI in Building Materials | Planting - ( 0 Comments )

A new Green Roofs resource has been added to the Resources menu

Wood & Christchurch..?

Wood buildings have performed well in the earthquakes and these recent innovations give us the chance to rebuild Christchurch in style, and with buildings which will attract residents and tourists back to Christchurch.
The Marlborough Forest Industry Association is inviting a range of speakers to discuss how Marlborough and Nelson prefabricated timber suppliers and designers can contribute to the Christchurch rebuild.

The prospects for using wood in the Christchurch rebuild have totally changed with several recent innovations.

Join the discussion Saturday 20th October


P: 03 578 1733


Monday 21 May 2012

Te Puna Wanaka













On 21 May Japanese architect Taira Nishizawa will give a free public lecture in Christchurch on his innovative timber buildings. This is an opportunity to hear from a visionary architect as we look to rebuild our region with ambition and careful consideration.

Since opening his Tokyo studio in 1993, Taira Nishizawa has established himself as a leading figure among his generation of Japanese architects—he stands alongside such globally recognized practices as Atelier Bow-Wow, Klein Dytham Architects, and Tezuka Architects. Nishizawa’s work, which ranges from small houses to large sports facilities and makes particular use of innovative timber structures, has attracted numerous awards, including the prestigious Japan Institute of Architects Young Architect of the Year Award in 2005, the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Award, and selection by Architectural Record as one of the world’s 10 ‘Design Vanguard’ architects.

A practitioner, academic and critic, Nishizawa teaches at a number of universities in Tokyo and has lectured and exhibited internationally. His work has been the subject of two monographs: ‘Taira Nishizawa 1994-2004′ and ‘Taira Nishizawa: Wooden Works 2004-2010′.

Taira Nishizawa is in New Zealand as a guest of NZ Wood, the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning and his lecture in Christchurch has additional support from the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and CPIT.

Te Puna Wanaka is on the corner of Williams & Coventry Streets, which can be accessed from Barbadoes or St Asaph Streets.

Credit for attachments:
Taira Nishizawa
Tomochi Forest Hall, Kumamoto (2004)
Photo: Hiroshi Ueda

‘Wooden Works’ square designed by Matt Galloway

An area of central Christchurch is pushing to open up opportunities for building lightweight structures, as a less expensive and more “sensible” way to rebuild parts of the quake-ravaged city.

Peterborough Village, a residential and commercial community inside the four avenues, is organising an international workshop to look into the issue in mid-February.

Spokeswoman Di Lucas said there were concerns the cost of stronger and deeper foundations required under post-quake bylaws could be unaffordable for some.

She understood there were options for lightweight, cheaper but robust structures to sit lightly on the soft land as alternatives to the standard heavy structures being proposed on deep vertical piles.

“With gravels buried five to 20 metres below ground level, it is appropriate that other methods are explored.”

At the workshop it was hoped case studies could be done for sites on which geotech reports were available, getting experts to look at different construction options, she said.

An example of the problem was popular restaurant Valentino’s, which had consent to build, but for a two-storey tilt- slab building on the site the cost of foundations would be about $300,000. “This is quite exorbitant for a 200-square- metre building.”

Alternative foundation options could be less expensive, more sensible, and could be more resilient in an earthquake.

Lucas said she had spoken to structural engineers who had told her more practical and less-expensive foundation options were available.

It was necessary to look at the research and testing that had been done, including at the University of Canterbury.

The community had started talking to regulators, and more discussions were planned, Lucas said.

Peterborough Village wanted to be a cutting-edge, innovative hub for redevelopment, with a focus on affordable resilience and sustainability, Lucas said.

The village precinct had traditionally been, and intended to remain, half commercial and half residential, but was hugely damaged.

“Most blocks will soon have scarcely a building remaining.

“This provides great opportunity for innovative redevelopment.”

A summary of the workshop would be published at

Peterborough Village is bounded by Colombo, Salisbury and Barbadoes streets and the Avon River.

A group of property owners in central Christchurch hope innovative engineering will enable them to rebuild on soft land in the green-blue zone.

At a workshop this week, engineers and architects discussed ways to rebuild in the area safely and economically.

Land around Peterborough Street is prone to liquefaction and while owners have been given the all clear to rebuild using piles, the price for driving the piles down to solid ground will be too high for many.

A key point of discussion at the workshop was building lightweight structures, so shallower piles can be used, bringing down the cost.

Landscape architect Di Lucas says it has provided hope for property owners who have been considering moving.