The weather on this Sunday morning was not exactly perfect for a chat over the fence, with a dreary overcast sky in Christchurch’s early winter. However the neighbours around the house on Kahu Road abandoned the warmth of their homes’, instead taking up positions in their driveways with their heads tilted up, pointing and chatting enthusiastically. At the centre of the attention was a house that was slowly rising higher and higher over the power lines.
This was the scene during the lifting of the upper storey structure at 34 Kahu Road, Christchurch. With the presence of the 300-ton crane, house transportation truck and half a dozen other heavy vehicles, the road had to be closed for this lifting operation. The site was busy and bustling with Higgs Construction and Smiths Cranes workers nervously finalising the last minute checks. Among them, EDC structural engineers Sam Polson and Tony Dong observed intently the temporary strengthening works they had specified.
EDC Christchurch office was charged with the earthquake repair design for this house next to the Riccarton Bush Reserve. This house is regarded by many a landmark around the neighbourhood, due to its Hanmer marble wall cladding and garden walls. As part of the repair process, the ground storey is to be demolished and re-constructed and therefore the top storey had to be lifted up, removed and temporarily stored before being put back on the new ground floor later this year. EDC Christchurch office specified the temporary strengthening to ensure the upper storey structure could withstand the lift. With the help of some calm weather, an expert team of house lifters and millions of dollars’ worth of construction plant, the lift was completed successfully.