The Earthquake Commission has started drilling work in eastern Christchurch to determine what type of foundations are needed in areas expected to be most prone to liquefaction.
The commission is carrying out testing on land labelled TC3, which indicates it is more likely to suffer damage in any future significant quake.
Testing starts in the suburb of North New Brighton this week, with work on other eastern suburbs to continue over the next six to nine months.
EQC customer services manager Bruce Emson says detailed assessment of soil conditions is needed so geotechnical and structural engineers can design appropriate foundations for any new builds.
Mr Emson says testing will not necessarily take place on every affected property.