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University of Canterbury (UC) today began testing the ignition resistance threshold of the material for Christchurch’s cardboard cathedral.
The building is a temporary replacement for the earthquake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral. The cardboard structure is being funded by insurance money from the old Christ Church Cathedral building.
UC’s Dr Michael Spearpoint said they had been asked by Holmesfire, the consulting company doing the fire engineering for the cardboard cathedral, to do some fire tests on the new cardboard cathedral to see how easily the cardboard material may ignite if there was a fire in the Cathedral.
”There are options for how the cardboard will be treated and we have been testing different products to see how they perform when exposed to a potential fire,” Dr Spearpoint said today.
“We have been running different tests all day. We have been testing with two coating products and comparing these to uncoated samples.
We have been exposing the cardboard to different heat energy levels to see when it ignites.”
”We at UC Engineering are one of a very few organisations in the country that can carry out this type of work. In this case the testing is somewhere between full research and a standardised testing approach.”
Dr Spearpoint said the findings will be used by Holmesfire to design the fire safety of the cathedral. Laying the concrete foundations for Christchurch's temporary cardboard cathedral has already begun.
Designed by leading Japanese emergency architect Shigeru Ban, the $5.3 million transitional 700-seater cathedral is being constructed on the edge of the city's red zone cordon by Latimer Square.
Construction is expected to be completed by February next year.
For further information contact Michael Spearpoint on 03 364 2237 or UC media consultant Kip Brook on 0275 030168