Sisters of Nazareth reveal plans for new Christchurch Community of Care

Hi-tech ground improvements under way

9 May 2014


The historic site of the former Nazareth House in Christchurch is to be developed into a state of the art aged care community complex on the eight hectare grounds.

The new “Community of Care” complex will offer a continuum of care including Licence to Occupy independent living villas, rest home, hospital and dementia care facilities, and a range of community services. A new chapel will also be built using the original marble altar, stained glass windows and other treasured items salvaged from the former chapel which has since been demolished. A small convent would also be established on site.

Sister Dominica, Regional Superior of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth in Australasia, and Chair of Nazareth Care Australasia, which is developing the complex, said while Nazareth House is a Catholic community, it is open and welcoming to all people.  

Sister Dominica said Nazareth House would be a “vibrant, living community of care.”

“We are very excited about this new venture which will bring Nazareth back to life in Christchurch. It’s been a difficult two years, but we look to the future with hope and trust.”

The first of 20 units, from a total 62 two and three bedroom villas, scheduled for completion in 2014. The Licence to Occupy villas would be sold off the plans. The remainder would be finished by 2015 and the total complex by 2016.

Included in Stage 1 are the independent living villas, an 80 bed aged care facility, service block, market place and community services. The dementia care facility, convent and chapel will follow once the first stage is completed.

A third of the total cost would be funded by the insurance payout on Nazareth House while Sister Dominica said she hoped a fundraising appeal would help contribute towards the shortfall.

Sister Dominica said Nazareth House would be a low-density development with lush landscaping and a strong connection to the community.

“We want to create a real community of our own, but which also connects to the wider area so that residents still feel very much in touch with the wider community - a community within the community. Integral to this is the development of what we’re calling a market place, which will feature things like a café, hairdresser, small cinema, pharmacy, and hopefully a medical centre – all the sorts of things you expect to find in a community. ”

Nazareth House and its chapel were irreparably damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, and in 2012 the aged care facility, convent and chapel were demolished.

The new Nazareth Community of Care has been designed by Ian Krause Architects. The independent living villas are being built by Stonewood Homes, with interior design by Marion Freeman of About Colour. Arrow International is project managing the infrastructure development for the complex, the aged care facility construction, and all associated consent processes.


Hi-tech ground improvements under way at Nazareth House


Extensive ground improvement work is under way on the site of the new Nazareth Community of Care retirement village in Sydenham.

The 8ha historic site property is being developed into a state of the art aged care community complex featuring 62 Licence to Occupy villas, an 80 bed aged care facility, service block, market place and community services. It will also feature a dementia care facility, convent and chapel in the second stage.

Golder Associates (NZ) Ltd manager, who are responsible for the design and construction of the ground improvement works, said the ground improvement techniques were necessary to provide the buildings with increased protection from earthquake induced liquefaction.

As part of the preparation, three different types of ground improvement are being undertaken across the site to help strengthen the land if there are any future earthquakes. They are:

1. Construction of gravel rafts. Gravel rafts involve construction of up to 400mm thick foundation pads to provide an even bearing surface for the villas.
2. Ground improvement through the use of Rapid Impact Compaction (RIC) to achieve ground densification. This comprises repeated dropping of a 7.5 tonne weight from a height of 1.3 m to densify the ground up to 3 m to 5 m below ground level.
3. Ground improvement through the construction of the Rammed Aggregate Pier® (RAP) System. This is achieved by driving a hollow steel tube, with an inner diameter of 200 mm, to the design depth and vertically ramming approximately 300 mm lifts of angular aggregate to create a compacted aggregate pier. RAP elements densify and improve potentially liquefiable soil so that it is effectively no longer liquefiable at design level of earthquake shaking.

“RAPs are currently being constructed on a number of projects across the city, ranging from individual residential sites to large commercial buildings in the CBD,” Baldwin said.

Kath Fox, chief executive of Nazareth Care Australasia, said the site was divided into three zones that required different levels of ground improvement.

“We want people living at Nazareth to be assured that we have used leading edge technology in the village. Ground improvement works for the first stage of 16 villas has been completed and Stonewood Homes will start building by the end of May.”