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First post-tensioned timber building opens in Christchurch

First post-tensioned timber building in Christchurch

The first multi-storey post-earthquake timber building using low-damage post-tensioned timber technology has opened in Christchurch.

The wooden superstructure building in Victoria Street, owned by Tony Merritt, is the first quake-resilient open-plan timber office building in the city rebuild.

The building's post-tensioned design and technology is the brainchild of the University of Canterbury (UC) civil engineering professors Andy Buchanan and Stefano Pampanin with support from senior lecturer Dr Alessandro Palermo.

Their research began before the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and it resulted in pre-fabricated and glue-laminated box beams and solid columns, used in the design of this building by architect Jasper van der Lingen of Sheppard and Rout and structural engineer Jade Kirk of Kirk Roberts.

The timber is threaded with high-tensile steel tendons and shock-absorbing steel componentry that enable the building to essentially spring back into alignment after a major quake.

Another large post-quake building, for Trimble Navigation, officially opened in Christchurch on April 4.

The Christchurch rebuild is a great opportunity for the benefits of timber buildings to be capitalised on and showcased.

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