Aust firm wants to test quake absorbers
An Australian manufacturer wants to test shock absorbers for houses in Christchurch (Photo: Chris Whitworth)
An Australian manufacturer wants to test structural steel blade piles which act as shock absorbers for houses in the most earthquake-prone area of Christchurch.
The Blade Pile Group is working with structural and geo-science engineers to develop the piles that will cushion homes during quakes.
The company, a subsidiary of the Gold Coast-based Trilink Group, is seeking the permission of New Zealand authorities to field test the system.
Trilink wants to build a house, including sophisticated monitoring devices, in Christchurch that will be used to verify the level of the piles' performance.
Once proven, the piles will be offered on a not-for-profit basis to needy Christchurch people who are building new homes.
Trilink Group CEO Kym Plotkin says the system is a world first based on the adaptation of bladed piles the company has been manufacturing for the past five years.
Major business interests from Japan and New Zealand have already expressed interest in the system, he says.
"We also do not want to profit from the Christchurch disaster," said Mr Plotkin.
"By offering the piles to financially disadvantaged people who need to build new homes we will be helping them to keep costs as low as possible.
"Our goal is to provide cheaper and safer homes and then to take our proven system around the world."
Trilink's blade piles proved to be effective during the 2011 catastrophic flood crisis in Southeast Queensland where more than 100 new homes in the Dalby area, supported on blade piles, retained their structural integrity during severe inundation and scouring by flood waters.