1240 central Christchurch buildings demolished video

Demo rebuild map

Four years of demolitions and rebuilds flash before your eyes in 30 seconds.

This video of a central Christchurch map shows the wave of demolitions that swept through the city centre after the February 2011 earthquake, followed by the tentative rebuild.

Click here to see an interactive full screen version of the map showing exactly where and when each demolition and rebuild has taken place.

Demolitions have outnumbered rebuilds four to one in in central Christchurch since the earthquakes, new data shows.

There have been 1240 demolitions within the four avenues since the September 2010 earthquakes, compared to 292 rebuild consents where construction has started.

The number of building consents where construction has started in the city centre has averaged about one a week since September 2010, compared to an average of five demolitions completed every week for the same period.

The wave of demolition that swept through Christchurch city centre in the months after the February earthquake peaked in July 2011.

Four demolitions were completed every day at the peak of the post-earthquake clearance.

The number of demolitions grew from 21 in March 2011 to a peak of 124 demolitions in July that year, which is a pace of about 30 a week or four a day.

The number of demolitions did not dip below 20 a month, or five a week, until June 2012.

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Now there are one or two demolitions a month. Ongoing demolition work in the city centre includes clearance of the proposed convention centre site on two blocks west of Colombo St and south of Victoria Square.

An average demolition took about 37 days to complete and heritage buildings made up about 20 per cent of all demolitions.

About 200 demolitions have no date as they took place before Cera gathered the data.

The rebuild data shows an average of four rebuilds starting every month. The number of rebuilds started to grow in June 2012 with eight a month and the peak was 18 rebuilds starting work in July 2014. The first time the number of rebuild starts exceeded demolitions was July 2013.

The rebuild data shows that since the earthquakes 110 new buildings in the Four Avenues have been issued a code compliance certificate, indicating completion of work.

In some cases, a cluster of demolished buildings are replaced with a single, large development. The new bus exchange, for example, is being built on the site of about 24 demolished buildings, while The Terrace development is being built on the site of 17 demolished buildings.

Many large rebuild projects in the city centre are government backed, including the bus exchange on Tuam St and office developments for civil service tenants like the BNZ Centre on Hereford St and the ANZ Centre on the nearby former Triangle building site.

Pockets of redevelopment in the city centre include the cluster of new office buildings on the western banks of the Avon River and the reopened buildings on Gloucester St, including The Press building, New Regent St, the Isaac Theatre Royal and the Rendezvouz Hotel.

The demolition data from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) includes Civil Defence, Cera approved, Christchurch Central Development Unit and non-Cera approved demolitions from September 2010 to December 2014.

The rebuild data from Christchurch City Council includes consents for new buildings where a first inspection had taken place, indicating construction had started, from 4 Sept 2010 to 17 Dec 2014.

Consents referencing 'strengthen' and 'refurbish' were also included. New residential accessory buildings and temporary structures were excluded.

Significant reopenings or rebuilds not captured in the council data were added.

About 200 demolitions have no date as they took place before Cera gathered the data. For the map, the date for these demolitions was set to March 1 and the demolition duration was set to the average length of 37 days.

Some rebuild dates are approximate and some rebuild shapes are approximate or use the previous building's footprint. 

 - The Press

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