September 2011

RibRaft EQ® - Future proofing Christchurch homes

Christchurch's 'Re-build' is gaining momentum with increasing numbers of earthquake affected homeowners being notified that they can proceed with the repair or rebuild of their homes.

With the possibility of damage in further seismic events a major concern for new homeowners, home builders and the insurance industry, Firth's RibRaft EQ® flooring system is in high demand as it combines strength, durability and economy with superior insulation properties.

The performance of Firth's RibRaft® flooring system significantly reduced damage to the existing houses it underpinned during the Christchurch earthquakes. The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) has recognised this performance in their document, "Guidance on House Repairs and Reconstruction Following the Canterbury Earthquake." For a copy click here.

This document suggests a modified version of Firth's RibRaft® flooring system as a solution for those building in areas susceptible to liquefaction or lateral spreading. From this recommendation Firth enhanced the successful RibRaft® flooring system, following the guiding principals of the DBH document, and launched the RibRaft EQ®.

"There are in excess of 30 new homes currently under construction utilising the new RibRaft EQ® system with homebuilders - such as Stonewood - leading the way," says Dominic Sutton, Regional Sales Manager for Firth.

"The RibRaft EQ® system is a much stronger and more efficient flooring system and can handle the technical issues that building in Christchurch now brings," says Neil Martin, Sales Manager for Stonewood Homes, Christchurch. "We have included the use of the RibRaft EQ® system in a number of our builds to create a very strong, stable platform on which to construct our Stonewood designs. We have also included the use of eco-ply for additional bracing to add more strength to the structures. We are confident that we are building homes that will be there for a very long time."

"The RibRaft EQ® system gives new homeowners peace of mind knowing that the foundations to their new homes are considerably stronger than previous solutions," adds Dominic. "In fact we think that this flooring system will become a standard feature for new builds in Christchurch and possibly other areas of the country susceptible to earthquakes, as people realise the benefits of RibRaft EQ® and seek to future proof their homes."

In April BEAL (Building Element Assessment Laboratory) conducted an audit of Firth's manual and quality plan for the RibRaft® system and as a result issued notices to Councils on their findings in regard to their surveillance of the RibRaft® system, following the earthquakes in Canterbury. This report recognises the RibRaft® System's performance in areas susceptible to liquefaction as a possible solution to this problem. The Surveillance Report document can be downloaded from www.beal.co.nz or click here.

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