'CTV building still could have collapsed with today's standards'

Posted 10 Jul 2012 by Media3News
Posted in Media , Royal Commission
This item was posted on the 3News.co.nz website - click here to view the original

 

Even if the CTV building was built to the current standards, it may still have pancaked in the February quake

Even if the CTV building was built to the current standards, it may still have pancaked in the February quake

By Jessica Rowe

An engineer says the CTV building may still have collapsed in the February earthquake, even if it had been built according to today's more stringent regulations.

But the investigators behind a Department of Building and Housing report have concluded the modern building failed to meet the construction code of the time, when it was built more than 25 years ago.

But even if the CTV building was built to the current standards, it may still have pancaked in the February quake.

That's according to Ashley Smith, one of two structural engineers hired by the Department of Building and Housing to investigate why the building collapsed.

He told the hearing the ground shaking was more than the building could endure.

"Certainly the 1984 design standard well underestimated these forces,” he said. “The current standard may be short."

Rob Jury was part of an expert panel who reviewed their findings.

He said while the concrete columns were key to the building's failure, the exact cause of the collapse still isn't clear.

“In some respects it's like the fact that you die when your heart stops, but anything can cause that to happen," said Mr Jury.

What he thinks caused the building to collapse was a lack of reinforcing steel in the beams and columns, which is supposed to confine or contain the concrete inside them.

“My own view would be if the column and column joints had the degree of confinements that they should have had by the codes of the day, [it is] my feeling the building would not have collapsed in the way it did.”

The head of Alan Reay Consultants, the firm that designed the building, will give evidence later this week.

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