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Strengthening work begins on The Milton Street Substation

The Milton Street Substation, now owned by Clark Mauger, was built in 1928 by the Municipal Electricity Department (MED). The decorative style of the substation originally designed to appease the local community is now the “largest remaining example of the ornamental, classically-influenced substations built in Christchurch during the art deco period, and is listed as a significant heritage site in the city’s district plan.” During the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquakes the substation obtained some damage including the collapse of the side parapets and significant damage to the rear extension. When the property came on the market in 2017 Mauger was quick to snap it up and immediately knew the importance of restoring the building to its former glory. The building required significant seismic strengthening and Fulton Ross Team Architects accompanied by Red Fox engineers was brought on to complete the project. Work began on detailed architectural designs, including plans for earthquake strengthening, and obtaining resource consent.

In October 2018 after extensive discussions with Christchurch Councils Heritage team the resource consent was granted and the foundation upgrades to the building have begun. The main structure will be strengthened to 67% of the New Building Standard (NBS) to ensure its viability as a useable commercial space in the future, while the rear extension, as it is a new structure, is being built to 100% of the NBS.

Seismic strengthening addressed by Fulton Ross Team Architects and the engineers:

  • installing a new perimeter ring foundation with extra reinforcing
  • installing internal steel bracing between columns
  • installing roof bracing
  • demolishing and rebuilding the rear brick extension
  • reconstructing side parapets with new lightweight materials



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