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“Almost 100 buildings constructed in Christchurch over the last decade are built on our foundations. All have survived the earthquakes handsomely.” So says James Wood, commercial manager of screw pile specialists, Piletech. The result is that the company is seeing “the leading edge of the wave” in terms of rebuild work in the city. Wood says one reason the piles have stood up well to the earthquakes is their ductility – the ability to flex with the earth. Standard piles for large buildings have traditionally been concrete reinforced with steel, which can crack with lateral ground movement. Wood says a unique feature of the piles is that they are self tapping, and are screwed down until they hit solid substrate. At the end of a building’s life they can then be ‘unscrewed’ and re-used.