This building will not blow away…

More strengthening work was done this week. It included  extra steel strapping and carriage bolts. Also added were 12 serious brackets in the base of the wall frames, anchored deep into the concrete foundation.

The bracket product, GIB HandiBrac, was insisted on by the building inspector last week. Bruce had already secured the wall plates by the traditional  bolts pre-inserted into the concrete foundation, and strengthened the frames with angle steel. The Handibrac system is used in corner areas where special high performance GIB Braceline plasterboard will also be installed (the Braceline sheets were also a new requirement).

One advantage Handibracs have over traditional bolts is that they lock together studs as well as concrete and the plate.

All this  is way beyond requirements of just a few years ago and seems to reflect hightened paranoia on the part of building and municipal authorities following the Christchurch earthquakes.

I gather, though, that the main justification for insisting on this overkill was protection against strong north-west and south-east winds.

Whatever…it all adds up to considerable extra expense for us and is probably unneccessary. The existing part of the house, built to hugely lower specs, has survived hurricane-strength  winds and severe earthquakes for nearly 100 years.

The video below (complete with sound effects from the truck radio and Bruce’s own commentary) shows the ‘BOWMAC screw bolt being banged into a hole drilled through the wooden frame and into the concrete. After hammering the bolt part of the way, the job is completed with a wratchet spanner.


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1 Response to This building will not blow away…

  1. hakepa says:

    I love it. Bruce has been caught out before. He tapped the screw bolt in just far enough to hold, but not so far that it was irretrievable from the concrete. Anyone who has mis-set a Rawl bolt doesn’t do it a second time!
    May be we should include your project in a rerun of the TV series Grand Designs, one of which I recall featured a rebuild of an old barn, and the central feature was a great steel beam that the builders set on about four inches of brick at either end and did not tie into the walls. English building inspectors are more concerned that the rare flavour of the ancient construction is preserved, unless it endangers passing badgers!

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