Engineered Wood: Christchurch school built just in time for new term


In post earthquake Christchurch, engineered timber structures are proving to be a solution to reduce damage in New Zealand. Concrete and steel structures often suffer dramatic collapse after a massive earthquake; timber structures on the other hand have proven to be much more resilient.

In reconstructing the city, one particularly innovative design was seen in the Christchurch Cathedral Grammar Junior School by architects Andrew Barrie Lab/ Takaharu Tezuka.

The school, manufactured and prefabricated by TimberLab Solutions, consists a complex network of interlocking members that make up the structure of the building, including portal frames, bracing elements, lintels, rafters and purlins. With timber compression joints being critical to the structural performance of this design TimberLab was able to achieve the 1mm tolerance in the rebated joints with the use of their 5 axis CNC Bridge.

The prefab components were installed on-sited, saving time and eliminating waste that would normally be generated in the construction of a building using regular materials such as concrete. The building was finished just in time for the new school term in February 2016. 


Images: Cathedral Grammar Junior School/ Photo Credit: TimberLab Solutions