Overall approach to stabilisation
The earthquakes damaged some parts of the Cathedral more than others. Careful planning is required for the best and safest approach to the work, with some areas needing deconstruction to reduce risk and enable access.
Eventually the building will be safe enough for workers to re-enter. Then we can carry out more investigative work.
Stabilisation is the first physical step to reinstating the Cathedral. It involves:
- Installing support frames to support and secure the Cathedral
- Deconstructing some badly-damaged sections to manage collapse hazards, and allow access to other areas. These parts will later be reinstated.
- Removing more recent additions to the Cathedral to give safer and faster access to stabilise the older parts
- Accessing the interior of the building for salvage and investigation works
- Retrieving heritage items, including the remaining stained glass windows and organ
- Temporary weather-proofing.
It will address severe structural damage and prevent further damage until the Cathedral has been reinstated. It will also ensure the building is safe for workers and enable access to parts of the Cathedral.
The first step is preparing the site for construction. After that, people will see steel framing and scaffolding progressively being erected. We estimate stabilisation will take between 18 and 24 months.
Ten areas of work are planned, however the order is indicative only, and may change and/or overlap.
- South Transept
- West end works (inc porch, wall and gable)
- South Vestry
- Visitors Centre demolition
- Tower deconstruction
- North Porch stabilisation (inc North aisle roof works)
- North Transept
- North Vestry
- South Porch (inc South aisle roof works)
Stabilising the Cathedral is a complex process requiring detailed planning and careful implementation. Each area of work will have its own methodology. We will continue to update the website information as work progresses.