Huntsbury 2

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Huntsbury homeowners David and Helen are already noticing the benefits of having their house upgraded during their earthquake repairs. They had their walls, ceilings and floors insulated along with a heat transfer system and double glazing as part of Beacon Pathway’s Build Back Smarter project as part of the repair process.

Helen and David’s four-bedroom hillside home was damaged during the February earthquakes with the movement of the outside concrete walls and cosmetic damage inside.

Their Hawkins project manager suggested that they contact Beacon about becoming part of the Build Back Smarter project. Their Huntsbury home is the first house to be completed.

“We have really noticed a difference in the warmth of our home and it’s also a lot cooler on those really hot days we’ve been having,“  said Helen.

The couple, who are former English as second language teachers, used to heat their dining room/main living area with a woodburner and spend as much time as possible in this area. The rest of the house, particularly upstairs, would remain cold, even on sunny days.

“I used to put on a down jacket to go into the lounge to play my piano. Our home is now so much more comfortable and we’ve even noticed health benefits such as fewer sinus issues. We are very appreciative of the work that has been done and how it will impact on our lives.“

David and Helen’s home was upgraded late last year at the same time as earthquake repairs were carried out, with Beacon Pathway’s Bill King as project manager. Although they had to move out, David and Helen were pleased with how easy the process was and appreciative that they are one of the earlier homes to be repaired.

“We are very grateful that the work was completed so early and we hope the other people in the trial enjoy their warmer more comfortable homes.“


Case study video

Find out more on this Huntsbury 2 video



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Earthquake damage to Huntsbury 2

Huntsbury 2 is a large 1960s concrete block and stucco house with a first floor extension built in the 1970s and a basement garage. 

Under the insurance scope of works, internal ceiling linings were to be extensively replaced, allowing current ceiling insulation to be topped up.  There was easy access for under-floor insulation and, with soil levels higher on the outside than inside, a vapour barrier was a priority.

All of the stucco veneer and some wall linings were due to be replaced downstairs providing a wall insulation opportunity.  Stucco cladding on the upstairs extension was only going to be patched under the original scope of works so there was originally no opportunity to retrofit wall insulation. However, once the veneer started coming off, the builder discovered there was no building paper. Cracking on interior linings on both ground and upstairs external walls meant that the builder opted to remove most interior linings.  This change in plan allowed all external walls, upstairs and downstairs, except for the kitchen, laundry, toilet and bathroom, to be insulated, more than originally planned.  


The upgrades

Based on the house assessment and discussions with the homeowners, the Huntsbury 2 upgrades included:

  • Topping up ceiling insulation to R4.6 and   cutting hatches to access and insulate previously inaccessible roof cavity
  • Installing underfloor insulation to R1.6
  • Installing underfloor vapour barrier
  • Installing R2.8 wall insulation to all   ground floor (except bathroom) - where both external wall cladding and     internal linings were replaced and building wrap added as part of the     repair
  • Installing building paper and wall   insulation to upper floor where internal linings were replaced
  • Double glazing the south facing windows in the   upstairs bedrooms
  • Draught stopping doors
  • Lagging hot water pipes
  • Installing a rangehood vented from an   internal wall to outside
  • Installing a heat transfer kit and   thermostat from the main living area to the upstairs bedrooms

  • 01-Jul-2013 (Publication Case study/26)

    Huntsbury Homeowners Enjoy Warmer Healthier Home (PDF 242KB)

    Covers the benefits of upgrading during earthquake repair for Huntsbury homeowners in the Build Back Smarter project.

  • 30-Jan-2013 (Report BBS/6)

    Huntsbury 2: Build Back Smarter Case Study (PDF 2.1MB)

    Lois Easton

    The Build Back Smarter Project aims to develop evidence that  performance upgrades can and should be done during earthquake repair as part of the Canterbury earthquakes recovery process.  Using the case studies of ten homes, the project is exploring and demonstrating what is possible as part of the repairs.  This report documents the first completed case study - the upgrade of a house known in the project as Huntsbury 2. 

Next: Halswell 1


Huntsbury 2 house

Huntsbury 2


No insulation or building wrap

No insulation or building wrap was found in some walls when cladding was removed

Old, slumped insulation

Old, slumped insulation was found in some parts of the house

New wall insulation installed

New wall insulation installed well throughout most of the house

Logo, BBS

Living in Christchurch?

Make the most of the new Build Back Smarter Service

Christchurch   City Council has launched a free service for Christchurch people   rebuilding or repairing their earthquake-damaged homes to provide   advice about insulation,  heating methods and energy saving measures   such as double glazing,  ventilation and lighting.

Homeowners   can contact one of the service’s assessment providers who will prepare a   healthy home improvement plan tailored to the needs and budget of the   home owner.