Firth’s world first foundation solution

Recovering from two devastating earthquakes has brought innovation to the surface in Christchurch, with Firth Industries leading the way.

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Firth’s world first foundation solution

Firth’s revolutionary flooring system RibRaft® EQ TC3, a system created by Firth to help Christchurch home owners deal with earthquake liquefaction in future events, was unveiled recently in Christchurch. Canterbury’s Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee, launched Firth’s latest RibRaft® technology which allows for construction to sit ON the ground not IN it

Mr Brownlee spoke at the pouring of a new concrete foundation solution on a TC3 property in the Christchurch suburb of Hoon Hay with TV crews from New Zealand’s TV3, TVNZ, CTV and Mainland TV present. He thanked all those that had worked so hard to create viable options to speed up the delivery of solutions for Christchurch residents.

There are around 28,000 properties in TC3 areas – areas where damage from liquefaction is possible in future large earthquakes and further geotechnical investigation and specific engineering input may be necessary. Approximately 12,500 of these homes have major foundation and pile damage requiring further investigation of the ground around them. Engineers must look at TC3 land in more detail when deciding what foundations are required so the property will perform well and be safe in future earthquakes.

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“After eight months in development we have now created a viable, cost effective TC3 foundation option which will help give home owners and builders more peace of mind,” says Andrew Moss, General Manager of Firth.

RibRaft® EQ TC3 comprises of upper and lower slabs that can be jacked apart following an earthquake that causes settlement, allowing the house to be re-levelled quickly and easily with reoccupation inside four weeks. It is seismically strong, energy efficient and cost effective due to reduced time and labour required. It is also less disruptive on the land as it lessens excavation.

“There's been extraordinary demand for the Ribraft® EQ version which now accounts for a third of all new building foundations in Christchurch. We now expect strong demand for RibRaft TC3 which may well be the answer to the prayers of many," adds Moss.

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Firth announced an enhancement of their RibRaft foundation solution which has been used in New Zealand for many years.The RibRaft range has been extended to include a solution for TC3 ground conditions. This video shows one of the first of these foundation solutions being installed on a TC3 site in Christchurch.

More about RibRaft