University of Canterbury


$2 million

Contract Type



Oct 2016



Canterbury University Engineering School

Get Canterbury Engineering School back on its feet

When its Engineering School suffered extensive structural damage in the 2011 earthquake, the University of Canterbury faced the same dilemma as property owners across the city: demolish and start again, or repair and retrofit the damaged structure?

Consultants initially advised mimicking the existing foundations by installing a shallow pad to the gravel bearing layer, but this would have required extensive dewatering, creating settlement risks and undermining the structure to create further damage.

Screw piling presented a viable alternative option due to the smaller plant used (enabling large piles to be installed without further damage to the building) so Piletech was approached to develop an alternative foundation solution. After undertaking feasibility studies and load tests, Piletech developed a commercially viable solution that also significantly reduced the client's risk profile.

Piletech worked with main contractor Hawkins over two years to install 396 piles with multiple helices to depths of around 12m to support the building – and get the Engineering School back up and running. 

Project Partners

Name Hawkins

Role Main contractor

Name Aurecon

Role Engineer