Quake-resistant stone

While stone has been used for thousands of years, a new technology by Southern Stonemason Canterbury enables stonework cladding to be installed and resistant to seismic activity.

The company was recently awarded the Christchurch regional Supreme winner title in this year’s Registered Master Builder’s House of the Year award for its work in restoring ‘Cashmere house’.

“We were asked to help restore this stunning home to its former glory,” says David Packman, owner of Southern Stonemason Canterbury.

By removing the building’s existing stone blocks and cutting them down to a lightweight 35mm stone slip using specialist diamond cutting equipment, the material was made safer to align with engineering specifications for load weights on foundations, while retaining the look and feel of the stone. The stone slips were then reinstalled using specialised stainless-steel clips developed by the company.

“This enabled us to also install stone to the high chimney area that was over the three-metre threshold using the clip with unique tabs inserted into the beds of the stones below and above, creating a lightweight stone solution of unequalled strength,” says Packman.

“The uniqueness of these stone clips is that they are designed to be used with New Zealand stones in lightweight solutions, maintaining the authenticity of solid stonework. In a seismic event, they remain stuck to the wall.”