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BG BEAVEN BUILDERS LTD (Construction Company), Heritage house relevellers Ltd (House Relevellers), Win Clark Engineering Consultant (Engineer)
The Highfield Woolshed is one of New Zealand’s most iconic woolsheds, dating as far back as 1877. Following the Kaikoura earthquake, the building received significant damage. This included walls becoming separated from the roof and a section of the shed collapsing. The structure also shifted off its piles and became approximately 600 mm out of level. The restoration work included re-levelling the building by lifting it to replace new piles. Other remedial work included straightening of the building, re-securing the walls to the roof and the installation of new bracing. Extensive repair work was also undertaken to the timber joinery and weatherboard sheathing.
Built in 1877, this Heritage Listed Category 1 building is potentially New Zealand’s oldest operating woolshed. The build is just outside of Waiau in North Canterbury, only a few kilometres from the epicentre of the Kaikoura earthquake. This event significantly damaged the build and required a talented project team to restore it to its former glory.
The woolshed had been knocked of its foundations and displaced more than 600mm. Its structure was therefore jacked, stabilised, and successfully lowered and levelled onto its new foundation. While the value of the work was modest, the technical challenges than needed to be overcome were huge, especially as a lot of the operation was undertaken within a confined space. This required the removal of a century of contaminated material under the floorboards.
This woolshed was the first in the country to utilise shearing machines and has consequently is a landmark for the local region. It has constantly been used to host weddings and other social functions within the community. Its restoration has become a beacon for the local region’s recovery since the earthquake and is now ready to continue as an operation shearing shed for another 100 years.