Earthquake Repairs

Residential Earthquake Repairs


In addition to private clients, Eliot Sinclair have partnered with insurance companies in order to undertake structural inspections, provide repair strategies and rebuild alternatives of both single and multi-unit dwellings damaged by the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.

Structural Inspections

Structural inspections involve a desktop study of all relevant information for the property, including a review of any existing plans, as well as studying the Canterbury Geotechnical Database and reading any existing geotechnical reports for the property. We then undertake a walkover of the property in question, along with an inspection, and note external and internal structurally significant damage to the dwelling or units.

If required, we can undertake floor levels of the dwelling or units to gain an understanding of the differential settlement that has occurred and to better clarify the repairs required. We can also undertake ground testing to supply a comprehensive geotechnical report for the site.

Repair Strategies

Once we have collected and reviewed all the relevant information, we prepare a suitable repair strategy for the dwelling or units. Our repair strategy decisions are based off our own Engineering Judgement, whilst utilizing various industry guidelines such as the documentation released by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for rebuilding and repairing in Christchurch.

Multi-unit dwellings create an extra complexity to the repair process, as there is a need to consider both the damage to the individual units and the structure as a whole when devising a repair strategy, there can also be difficulties due to differing foundation systems across the footprint of the structure.

This can be further complicated by the units often having multiple insurers, as well as cases where a unit in a block may be uninsured.

Rebuilds and Partial Rebuilds

Where differential settlement or damage to the foundations is too excessive, we can detail the full or partial replacement of foundations of a dwelling. This can include the partial replacement of piles and sections of the perimeter foundations in the case of timber floored dwellings, or the replacement of sections of the floor slab and perimeter foundations in the case of the concrete floored dwellings.

If our investigations indicate that a large enough area of the foundations system requires replacement, then we will instead design an enhanced foundation system to comply with the demands of the MBIE Technical Category of the site and detail connecting the existing dwelling to the new foundations system.

In the case of multi-unit dwellings, we are able to follow the MBIE  guidance which allows for the replacement of foundations of one or more Units, up to 50% of the foundations of the multi-unit structure as a whole, before the entire structure must have the foundations fully replaced.


48x48-pdfBulletin 150305: Residential Earthquake Repairs, written by Rick Boraston Phone2image004