New Zealand’s first two-storey house built on TC3 land - Firth | ArchiPro

New Zealand’s first two-storey house built on TC3 land

Products used: RibRaft TC3®

Summary: Firth’s revolutionary RibRaft®TC3 flooring system has given solace to many homeowners who devastatingly had their homes damaged beyond repair in the Christchurch earthquakes, on land that was then categorised as TC3. The RibRaft® TC3 foundation system has meant more than 550 homes have been able to be built on land that would have otherwise been unusable. The RibRaft® TC3 technology allows for construction to sit ON the ground not IN it. The popularity of the system is not only due to its seismic performance but its economy, versatility and consistency of cost. And now - for the first time - homeowners can build a two storey home on TC3 land thanks to the Firth RibRaft®TC3 system.

Prior to the earthquakes Tom and Denise Leigh lived in a lovely 100 year old colonial brick villa in Merivale, which they had lovingly restored with a new kitchen, bathrooms and a modern layout. However the solid brick interior and exterior walls were no match for the February 2011 earthquake which reduced the family home to rubble.

Simon Paterson – New Home Consultant for Stonewood Homes - talks about how he was approached by the Leigh’s to help them rebuild a home for their family. “Once the land was rated as TC3 it made things very difficult. So we started investigating various foundation systems that could take the weight of a two story home on this very narrow site.”

Simon and the architect investigated a number of options including timber floor construction, timber pile options and rammed earth piles. “We have been very big fans of Firth’s RibRaft®TC3 foundation slab system since it was introduced,” explains Simon. “We have built a considerable number of single level homes using this system throughout Christchurch with many more in various stages of sign off and construction. For Tom and Denise’s home Firth came up with a design using the RibRaft® TC3 system which was half the price of the timber floor options and was streets ahead of other solutions available. This meant Tom and Denise could have a home on the ground, assisting with height to boundary requirements which would have been an issue had we used a raised timber floor system.”

Finally, with a foundation system to suit the weight of the new two-storey dwelling and a satisfied insurance company, Stonewood had the go ahead to construct the first two-storey home on a TC3 site in the country.

“It’s been a long hard slog for the Leighs - four years since we started down this path including a year for construction,” adds Simon. “The Leighs are about to move into their new home. It has been a difficult time for them but we got there in the end with the help of Firth’s revolutionary RibRaft® TC3 system.”

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