St Elmo Courts rebuild after the Christchurch earthquake

St Elmo Courts rebuild after the Christchurch earthquake

Ruamoko Solutions Engineers in Christchurch conceived of these beams as part of a 2-way concrete column and post tensioned timber beam configuration designed to resist any future earthquake event. Manufacture of these beams to meet the very high standards of bond and dimensional accuracy required was a most challenging assignment.  The beams comprised 9 layers of LVL to be laminated with a hollow core and included ducts, deviator blocks and hardware, up to 44 different items in each beam, all to be assembled with adhesive and the required pressure applied  within the open assembly time for the adhesive. The tolerance on beam length was to be within 1 mm, duct locations at the beams needed to accurately correspond with duct positions simultaneously being cast into the precast concrete columns in Christchurch and achieving bond quality  to meet structural requirements was paramount.  The challenge that Timberbuilt took on would use all of the experience of LVL fabrication that we have developed over more than 30 years.

Key to the ultimate success of manufacture were the following factors;

  • The use of 3d software modelling to ensure compatibility between  the beams being manufactured in Melbourne with the concrete columns being manufactured in Christchurch, with other site requirements and the expectations of the designers.
  • The capability we have with the Hundegger K2 joinery machine to accurately cut, bore and machine the LVL components to very high orders of accuracy to both achieve the accuracy required for each beam but also, and most importantly to eliminate any hesitation or other time loss during the critical assembly process.
  • The organisation and coordination of the assembly process to ensure that all variables that might possibly affect the achievement of bond quality remained within limits. The recording of assembly data for each and every beam providing a level of assurance that bond quality requirements were met.


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