Lifting, lowering and levelling buildings

Lifting, lowering and levelling buildings

Lifting, lowering and leveling earthquake-damaged properties. Commissioned by House Lifters / Meccanico, Holmatro supplied a 2,000 tonnes Synchronized Positioning System.

Commissioned by: House Lifters / Meccanico
Location: New Zealand


House Lifters lift and re-level hundreds of earthquake-damaged properties in Christchurch and Canterbury including; businesses, homes, Heritage buildings, churches.


To ensure safe and controlled lifting, lowering and levelling of heavy properties, House Lifters was looking for a flexible, easy to handle and extremely accurate synchronous lifting system. Because complex lifting procedures also often require ‘tilting’, this feature was a 'must-have' in the new system.


Holmatro developed a 2,000 tonnes synchronized positioning system with the option to determine the center of gravity (COG) and be able to weigh the load if necessary. The system is equipped with 6 double-acting pump units, each with 4 individual oil flows for all the 24 lifting points. Due to the modular set up of the system, the pump units can be placed around the object and then connected together. Thanks to this set up, the distance from the pumps to the lifting points can be kept equal and limited to the bare minimum. This results in much more stable lifting and lowering with significantly less vibration. The modular set up also provides huge flexibility; the system is easy to control and move around, without the need for any additional equipment such as a crane or fork lift: A major benefit on job sites where access is difficult and cranes cannot get access.

The pumps are linked together by means of a data cable that is connected to a portable HMI (Human Machine Interface) complete with touchscreen. The software on the system allows the user to set the exact parameters  required to execute a complex lift. Should something fall outside of the given parameters (for instance an unexpected shift in weight) the system automatically stops the lift, so that the user can safely check and secure the object before recommencing the lift.

Due to the double-acting cylinders, the user has maximum control both on the lifting and the lowering action as gravity is not relied upon to lower the load.

Holmatro’s synchronized positioning system can easily be up-scaled by adding more pumps and cylinders, giving it an almost unlimited capacity in terms of lifting, lowering, levelling and weighing.

Read more about the Synchronized Positioning System

Rod Moore, owner House Lifters and Meccanico: "Six years after the Canterbury earthquakes we noticed our work was ramping up for straightening commercial buildings instead of mainly private properties (houses). When I was doing research for a heavier system I discovered most jacking systems available were big and required trucks to bring in all the gear. The Holmatro system on the other hand seemed to be small and I only needed a few guys to do the job, so I  decided to invest in a synchronous computer-controlled hydraulic jacking system from the Dutch company. The system was built entirely on my requirements and delivered by two engineers who came out to New Zealand to train my employees and help us get things going. With great success. We lifted the concrete floor of a 340 ton building at Ferrymead (Christchurch) 200 millimeters to re-level. After placing 25 jacks, we connect the hydraulic pumps and the wires to the computer to measure the heights. With other systems you need several guys to go around all the jacking points and try to raise them simultaneously. This system monitors all the points at once as the building is slowly lifted. In case of a problem like a jacking support being squashed, it alerts and stops so nothing breaks. Once the building was raised to level, sacrificial props were placed underneath with the assistance of sledgehammers and the voids underneath were filled. The final job was to run a radar test to detect any gaps. The center of the floors were also monitored for sagging and a beam and screw system could lift areas that needed it. Imperfections in the original concrete floor showed up, but we got it back within 0.1mm to the original pour of the slab.”

See the Synchronized Positioning System in action for Meccanico:

Would you like to know more about this project? Contact us via e-mail or call +31 (0)162 751500.