CTV engineer blames shaking, not design
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 6:31p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
The engineer who designed the CTV building had never worked on a multi-storey building before and was inexperienced with his firm's computer modelling systems.
Despite that, David Harding says strong ground shaking, not poor design, caused the building to collapse during the February quake.
When Mr Harding started working for Alan Reay in November 1985, his experience in structural engineering in the previous five years was limited to helping design a hydro-slide for a local council.
He says despite this, it wasn't long before his boss put him in charge of a large scale project – the design of a six-storey office block, the CTV building.
“There was never any question from him of whether I wanted to the job,” says Mr Harding. “He thought I should do it for experience.”
Due to his inexperience, Mr Harding says Mr Reay gave him calculations from another of the company's building projects to use as a template.
They had been drawn up by John Henry who no longer worked for the company. Mr Harding says Mr Reay told him he wasn't allowed to contact Mr Henry for help.
“He didn't want me to be contaminated by any of John's views I gather, and he wanted to be sole the director of how I should proceed.”
Alan Reay's lawyers say that timesheets show Mr Reay only spent three hours on the design of the building and Mr Harding spent more than 300. Mr Harding says the paperwork is wrong.
“Are you saying he spent a lot more than three hours on this job?” asked the commission.
“You would have to, just in the consenting process alone.”
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