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Denver International Airport


Boston’s Big Dig

$16.1bn $21.1bn

Three Gorges Dam, China The Channel Tunnel

Briefing 2010 North America


64.5 11.4

MEANWHILE USES Asia Five years 64.5 have 11.4 passed since Middlethe first quake East and the56.3 city’s 8.3 residents are still having to Continental Europeuse temporary 33.3 10 facilities, such as the striking 7.5 6.8 UK “Cardboard Average dispute values ($m) Cathedral” and shippingcontainer mall



GAUGE OF CONSENTS Consents for new houses are still at healthy levels post earthquake, whereas commercial activity appears to have peaked Source: NZ government



are10.5then by who 14.4 bought 9 relatively 11.9 34.3cheaply 13.7 29.6fixer-uppers 16.2 repair, refurbish and rent out the properties, or sell them on. Another unusual approach is the planned creation of a 53.1 12.4 39.7 14.3 41.9 14 85.6 12 container village for construction workers who will vacate homes, releasing these for families. This idea draws on the container mall 65in14.6 the city40.9centre, built 112.5 9 13.9 76.7 as 15.1an emergency measure to provide shops after the earthquake. Known as the Re:Start Mall, it remains in use as no new retail space is 35.1 11.7 25 6 6.5 38.3 18 available, although Gary 27.5 Reynolds FRICS, South Island manager at building surveyor Alexander & Co, says: “Since 10.2 8.7 27 12.9 27.9 7.9 27 10 its inception it has changed size and been progressively Average length of dispute (months) moved to make way for ongoing construction work. “Currently no‘new’retail has been finished, so the Re:Start Mall remains. I would expect units in the new retail precinct [ownership and development of which is fragmented] will start being brought to market and occupied in the next few months, especially when anchor tenants have been secured.” Reynolds notes that “the crane count is on the up” in Christchurch, although demolition work still continues, particularly in the central business district.“It would appear that office rents are levelling off, but A-grade stock seems to be more than meeting demand.”

Non-residential consents

NZ$20m NZ$0 NZ$20m NZ$40m NZ$60m 09/10



Residential consents

NZ$60m NZ$40m



He conceded there had been criticism over the slow pace of rebuilding, but added: “We could not have rebuilt any faster – the components of planning, design and the construction required the ground to have stopped shaking.” Andy Tiplin FRICS, a chartered surveyor at local quantity surveying firm Rawlinsons, says residential rebuilding has been subject to“many wrangles between owners and insurers which has prolonged the painful process. Commercial rebuild has not proceeded at the originally expected pace but is now happening and will continue to happen relatively quickly over the next three to four years. “The benefit of the slow, deferred start,” Tiplin adds, “is that hyperinflation has not kicked in and resources are generally available.” Ombler’s progress report claimed that, during 2016, more than 2,000 public-sector staff would be back working in new offices in the city centre. As of October 2014, more than 237,000ft2 (22,000m2) of office space had been built since the earthquake and some 88% had been leased, on a par with New Zealand’s other main cities.“Our population has almost returned to pre-quake levels and employment is booming,” he concluded. One interesting characteristic of the post-earthquake market has been the rise of “as is, where is” sales. These are damaged but structurally sound homes on which an insurer has paid out to an owner on the condition they move out and sell the – now uninsurable house – at land value. The homes





David Soper MRICS, senior building surveyor at property services firm Hampton Jones, has worked in assessing residential and commercial earthquake building fabric repairs for insurers and policyholders. He says: “It appears that residential supply is stabilising with more homes coming on stream, particularly to the west of the city and outlying towns such as West Melton, Rolleston and Lincoln.” Despite efforts to recruit internationally, rebuilding has been a largely home-grown effort. Tiplin says: “There has been very little international involvement, except for some American experts being involved in the seismic design of base isolators and buckling resisting braces, though there have been some joint ventures with Australian contractors.” The devastation of 2010-11 was so great, however, that many years of reconstruction lie ahead. As Tiplin concludes: “It will probably be another 10 years or so before a first-time visitor to Christchurch isn’t immediately aware of the damage the earthquake sequence did to the city.” n

REFERENCE POINT REPORTS AND RESOURCES Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority Agency established to lead and coordinate the ongoing recovery effort New Zealand Government Building Information Helps housebuilders to comply with building regulations.

Rebuild Christchurch Community-led site Christchurch City Council Dedicated postquake microsite. Harcourts gold real estate Explanation of “as is, where is”


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