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Residential building repair and reconstruction

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Guidance: Repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes

In January 2013 the Ministry updated and republished guidance on house repairs and reconstruction in Canterbury.   The updated guidance reflects new scientific and geotechnical information and knowledge about the impact of earthquakes and the effects of liquefaction on residential dwellings.

It brings together three separate documents into a single document, colour-coded for easy navigation.

Updates in this version include:

  • appropriate geotechnical investigations
  • repairs to foundations and new foundations in TC1 and TC2
  • assessments of retaining walls for hillside properties
  • chimney repairs
  • repairs to house superstructures, pole frame houses and masonry walls
  • information about repairing and rebuilding foundations in TC3
  • guidelines for the geotechnical investigation and assessment of subdivisions in the Canterbury region.

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Clarifications and updates

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Certificates of Work, Producer Statements, and Design Features Report guidance

This guidance sets out the legal requirements and good practice for those involved in issuing and accepting certificates of design work (CoWs), producer statements and design features reports (DFRs) during the building consent process.

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Building in the Canterbury Green Zone: Two quick guides for builders

These guides give a quick overview of requirements for building in the Canterbury Green Zone. They briefly outline regulatory requirements and highlight special issues.

Read the guides

These guides are an introduction to the detailed guidance "Repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes".

Hard copies are available from trade merchants and councils in Canterbury.

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Rebuilding zones

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) has divided residential land into rebuilding zones.

The current two zones are:

  • Green zone: land generally considered suitable for residential construction.
  • Red zone: land repair would be uncertain, costly and probably highly disruptive

Green zone: TC1, TC2 and TC3 technical categories

MBIE guidance breaks the green zone into three technical categories. These provide a starting point for the level of geotechnical investigation and decisions on repair or reconstruction of house foundations. Foundation requirements differ from category to category.

Here’s a quick guide to the technical categories:

  • Technical Category 1 (TC1) – future land damage from liquefaction unlikely. Standard foundations (NZS3604) can be used as long as site meets the ‘good ground’ test
  • Technical Category 2 (TC2) – damage from liquefaction is possible in future large earthquakes. Shallow geotechnical investigations may be required, depending on damage. Suspended timber floor or enhanced slab foundations outlined in the guidance can be used.
  • Technical Category 3 (TC3) – damage from liquefaction is possible in future large earthquakes. Deep geotechnical investigation and specific engineering input into foundations may be necessary.

You can read more about the zones and technical categories in the guidance Repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes »

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