Canterbury Quake Press Release

17 September 2010

Friday 17 September 2010

Canterbury Quake Proves Timber Construction to Have the Best Structural Integrity and Safety.

The NZ Timber Industry Federation says that had more homes been constructed with raised timber floors in recent years the recent Canterbury earthquake damage and costs of repairs would have been substantially less.

It is evident that raised timber floors combined with timber frames and timber weatherboards have provided structural integrity and safety that is unmatched by other house building designs.

The fact that not one person was killed as a result of the huge quake is a testament to the large percentage of timber framed homes in Canterbury.

Timber houses 100 years and older have come out unscathed while older triple brick and other unreinforced masonry buildings have collapsed.

Timber provides excellent flexibility and is light weight compared to concrete and steel.

The typical residential concrete house slab is relatively heavy, weak, and prone to failure when the ground moves beneath. Many newer concrete slab floors have failed leading to further damage with walls cracking and mud and water entering the building interiors.

Once cracked and slumped repairing concrete floors is costly, difficult, and in some cases impossible, meaning buildings are written off. It is a relatively simple task to level up a raised timber floor house. Common place since colonial times raised timber floors have been displaced in recent years by concrete slab foundations.

The NZ Timber Federation says home builders need to look past the easy option of a concrete slab foundation in new homes. In addition to being able to withstand high seismic loads raised timber floors provide greater flood protection, better access for services, and has unrivaled environmental credentials using only a fraction of the energy and carbon emitted in producing a concrete floor.

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