Log house performance in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake


  • Andy Buchanan PTL | Structural Timber Consultants, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Daniel Moroder PTL | Structural Timber Consultants, Christchurch, New Zealand




This paper describes the performance of log houses in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Most of these houses are in the Mt Lyford village 45 km south-east of Kaikoura.

Typical log houses at Mt Lyford were built using 200mm diameter machined logs. A smaller number of log houses were built with much larger hand-hewn logs of less regular shapes, in traditional log house construction. Most houses were constructed on a concrete slab incorporating the foundations. A small number, especially those on steep sites, had timber poles supporting a timber ground floor platform.

Most of the log houses suffered some lateral movement and subsequent damage. Very few of the houses were damaged beyond repair, and the overall performance was excellent considering the nature of the quake.

One house close to Waiau suffered extreme near-fault shaking, leading to extensive damage, but this is considered to be the result of exceptional ground movement rather than any deficiencies in the design or construction.


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How to Cite

Buchanan, A., & Moroder, D. (2017). Log house performance in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(2), 225–236. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.50.2.225-236