CTV building calculations 'worrying'
Thu, 02 Aug 2012 6:29p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
A former employee of the company that designed the CTV building says he was worried when he learnt the calculations he used to design another building in the city were used as a template for the CTV building.
John Henry told the earthquake’s royal commission that only an engineer experienced in the design of multi-storey building's could have used the calculations.
When Mr Henry left Alan Reay's firm in late 1985 he wasn't aware the company was about to take on the design of the CTV building, and it wasn't until late last year, well after the building collapsed, that he learned that calculations he used to design a building in central Christchurch were used as a template by novice structural engineer David Harding to design the CTV building.
“I was concerned when David Harding said he'd used my calculations for Landsborough House for two reasons – firstly, because the calculations weren't detailed enough for a first time designer,” says Mr Henry.
He says the calculations were specifically designed for Landsborough and could not easily be applied to the CTV building.
Company boss Mr Reay gave the calculations to Mr Harding because he – Mr Harding - had never designed a multi-storey building.
“I would never expect that to write a set of calculations, that a first time designer could pick and expect to design a building with out any help.”
Earlier in the week Mr Harding told the commission that Mr Reay instructed him not to contact Mr Henry with queries about the calculations.
After Mr Henry left Mr Reay's firm he worked for the council's building inspection team – and he says he remembers his former employer going straight to the top when he wanted a building to be approved.
“It wasn't uncommon for Alan Reay to go straight to Brian Bluck when he couldn't get a consent from Tapper,” says Mr Henry.
Mr Henry says that caused huge rows between Mr Bluck and Mr Tapper, but Mr Bluck, the senior of the two, would overrule.
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