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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission - Hotel Grand Chancellor

The Earthquake Royal Commission resumed hearings today with statements from witnesses regarding the Grand Chancellor Hotel.

Today's transcripts are available from the Commission's document library (here) for the following:
  • Seismic Performance of the Hotel Grand Chancellor : Findings and Recommendations - Presentation by Professor Stefano Pampanin
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor hearing: Document prepared for the hearing, by Commissioner Richard Fenwick
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor: Presentation to the Royal Commission, Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor: Report on the Structural Performance of the Hotel Grand Chancellor in the Earthquake of 22 February 2011, Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor hearing - Summary for the hearing
The last document listed is a summary of the evidence being presented, and is the best place to start (here).

The following is an extract from the Summary for the hearing:
The Commission will hear evidence that indicates that the building as designed and permitted, did not comply with the standards that were in force in 1985 -1988. In particular, in relation to the D5-6 shear wall slenderness ratio and the degree of reinforcement confinement of that wall.
Evidence will be given that indicates that this may have been as a result of the need to re-design the building so that it did not encroach the right-of-way and an omission to re-calculate any resulting change in the seismic load.
The Council, at the time of permitting the plans, relied on a designer certificate signed by a principal of the structural engineering firm that designed the building.
In my submission, this hearing will highlight important issues in the design and permitting of high rise buildings, particularly those that are irregular structures.
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