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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Earthquake Royal Commission - Peer review of the Department of Building and Housing technical investigation reports

The Earthquake Royal Commission has received a peer review of the Department of Building and Housing's technical and investigation reports.

From the Royal Commission's website:
This report by William Holmes of Rutherford & Chekene consulting engineers in San Francisco peer reviews the following Department of Building and Housing technical investigation reports:
  • Structural Performance of Christchurch CBD Buildings in the 22 February Aftershock: Stage 1 Expert Panel Report dated 30 September 2011 (DBH Expert Panel);
  • Investigation into the Collapse of the Pyne Gould Corporation Building on 22nd February 2011 dated 26 September 2011 (Beca);
  • Report on the Structural Performance of the Hotel Grand Chancellor in the Earthquake of 22 February 2011 dated 26 September 2011 (Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd);
  • Investigation into the Collapse of the Forsyth Barr Building Stairs on 22nd February 2011 dated 26 September 2011 (Beca)
The 13 page review (here) discusses the approach taken to preparing the reports, raises minor problems arising from presentation, and comments on some of the recommendations made. A couple of selected points:
  • For the PG building there is a discussion on page 6 of what might have been the critical structural weaknesses (CSW) that lead to collapse.
  • the goal of the program for earthquake prone buildings should be clearly identified before assessment guidelines are revised - will it apply only to the worst of the worst buildings, or to a wider range?

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