New Zealand map Davis Ogilvie – Engineering, Surveying and Planning

Christchurch Port Hills


The Christchurch Port Hills, which often contain a veneer of highly erodible soil over steep volcanic rock, invite a keen challenge for our geotechnical engineers.

The field investigation at this particular site revealed a number of under-runners or subsurface tunnels on the steep sloping site. Shallow rock varied in depth and strength, and evidence of buried boulders and potentially separated rock massed (floaters) further complicated the proposed development.

Davis Ogilvie geotechnical and structural engineers worked closely to develop the relevant design drawings to allow for an innovative building and landscape plan for the site. Working from first principals, the engineers used socketed foundations in the rock where lower strengths allowed and rock bolts and anchors where rock strengths were assessed to be sufficiently high.

An innovative and highly flexible approach was required for this project to overcome the significant site constraints. The close working relationship between the geotechnical and structural team was the key to a successful design and construction phase for this prominent development.