Designers blamed for CTV building collapse
Wed, 05 Sep 2012 12:24p.m.
By Kloe Palmer
The designers of Christchurch's CTV building have been blamed for its collapse by counsel assisting the royal commission.
One-hundred-and-fifteen people were killed there in the February 2011 earthquake.
Stephen Mills, QC, has spent the morning presenting the first of 10 closing submissions, saying there were critical failings in the structure's design.
After hearing evidence from over 80 witnesses, this morning counsel assisting the commission wasted no time in blaming the buildings designers for its collapse.
"In my submission, principal and critical failings occurred during structural design work carried out by Dr [Alan] Reay's firm. For this, both Mr [David] Harding and Dr Reay must carry the responsibility.
"The decisions that they made about the structural design of the building are in my submission the primary cause of building's collapse."
Mr Mills went on to say that there was an inadequate margin of safety provided in the event of a large earthquake.
"The building they designed was not code compliant and was dangerously vulnerable to any earthquake that took the building beyond any distance of its elastic response state, and into the inelastic range."
The building's design wasn't the only thing he slammed – he also highlighted failures by the Christchurch City Council.
"In my submission what the evidence has revealed are failings and weaknesses at a number of levels," says Mr Mills.
"This includes the Christchurch City Council regulatory processes that were in place at the time, and the inadequacies of the post-earthquake assessment processes carried out by the council."
Legal teams for 10 witness will give closing submissions over the next two days. Next up this afternoon is the lawyer for Alan Reay Consultants, who is expected to completely disagree with Mr Mills' statements this morning.
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6/09/2012 12:59:33 a.m.
Stop blaming "designers" wrote:
Who wrote the article and headline? Architects and structural engineers planned the building, not "designers".
Please be more specific and avoid sloppy journalism.
5/09/2012 9:33:58 p.m.
Interesting conclusions but not quite hitting the mark and unhelpful for those seeking justice and compensation!
There are arguably three parties here that should share the responsibility of these deaths!
Firstly the ChCh City Counci.
ChCh City Council had not one but two (and potentially three) opportunities to prevent these deaths!
Opportunity one was ChCh City Council chose and hired the building designer presumably from a number of designers who expressed an interest in designing the building.
Opportunity two was ChCh City Council knew the provisions of the relevant safety code and had the power to enforce that code but failed to enforce it.
Opportunity three was ChCh City Council probably chose the engineer and in any case accepted the assessment of an engineer regarding the safety of the building post-quake.
Secondary to the ChCh City Council being responsible are the engineer(s) who purported to be competent in designing the building safely.
Thirdly are the engineer(s) who purported to be competent to assess the buildings safety post quake!
Lets get down to the facts and hold those who really accountable to account!
ChCh City Council and professional engineers will hold insurance to cover themselves against this sort of negligence - if we aren't going to prosecute these parties and throw them into jail lets at least identify them so they have to pay some compensation to the relatives of the dead and retain some credence as a just country!
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