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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission–CTV enquiry, closing submissions

The Royal Commission has published the closing submissions of counsel assisting the Royal Commission. A copy can be downloaded from here.

The introduction to the submissions is a very concise and precise statement of the questions that arose as a result of the enquiry, and the possible roles played by individuals in the private sector, officers of the Christchurch City Council, and the building codes in place at the time.

The following is from the introduction:

11.     The evidence has revealed failings and weaknesses at a number of levels.  This includes the CCC regulatory processes in place at the time and the inadequacies of the post earthquake assessment processes carried out by the CCC.  However, the principal and critical failings occurred during the structural design work carried out by Dr Alan Reay’s firm.  For this both Mr David Harding and Dr Alan Reay must carry the responsibility.  The decisions they made about the structural design of the building are the primary cause of the CTV Building collapse.  In critical respects the Building they designed was not Code compliant and was dangerously vulnerable to any earthquake that took the Building any distance beyond its elastic response state and into an inelastic range.  There was no margin of safety provided for in the event that this occurred.

The above, and the whole of the document, needs to be read with the following in mind:

34.   In order that there is no confusion over the role that Counsel Assisting is playing at this stage of the Inquiry, it needs to be emphasised that the submissions of Counsel  Assisting are no more than that.  They set out the views that Counsel Assisting have reached on the evidence.  However, they play no greater role in this Inquiry than this.  It is entirely a matter for the Royal Commission as to whether they are accepted or rejected, in whole or in part.  The final decisions reached on the questions the ToR ask  about the CTV Building are solely within the province of the Royal Commission itself.

The submissions cover the following:

  • The Design Issues
  • The building permit
  • The collapse causes: ARCL’s theories
  • Code Compliance and Best Practice
    • Part 1: Legal Requirements at the time the permit was issued
    • Part 2: Non-Compliance with By-law 105
    • Part 3: Best Practice
  • Building Assessments
  • Construction Issues
  • Drag Bar Retrofit: the 1990 HCG report

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