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Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission – Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha

Those who lost relatives and friends in the 22 February earthquake can be assured that there will be a very thorough inquiry into the failure of buildings that resulted in loss of life.
Chair, Justice Mark Cooper
 

Forsyth Barr Building Hearing

The Commission conducted a public hearing on 23 and 24 February 2012 in which we considered all issues relevant to the failure of the Forsyth Barr building in the earthquake of 22 February 2011.

The Commission considered:

  • whether the building as originally designed and constructed complied with earthquake-risk and other legal and best-practice requirements both when it was designed and constructed and on or before 4 September 2010;
  • whether any alterations to, and maintenance of, the building complied with earthquake-risk and other legal and best-practice requirements both when they were carried out and on or before 4 September 2010;
  • why the building failed on 22 February 2011;
  • whether there were any particular features of the building that contributed to its failure;
  • the nature of the land associated with the building and how it was affected by the Canterbury earthquakes;
  • whether the building had been identified as earthquake-prone on or before 4 September 2010;
  • whether the building was subject to required or voluntary measures to make it less susceptible to earthquake risk and the compliance standards they had achieved;
  • the performance of the building and any damage sustained in the earthquake of 4 September 2010 and the aftershocks down to 22 February 2011;
  • the nature and effectiveness of any inspections of the building or other actions taken in respect of it following the 4 September earthquake down to 22 February 2011;
  • the results of the investigation carried out by the Department of Building and Housing into the building; and
  • any other issues relevant to the building under the Commission's Terms of Reference.

Timetable

 DateTimePresenterRole/Organisation

23 February

9.30am Opening Statement by Stephen Mills QC Counsel Assisting the Commission

 

10.50am Grant Cameron GCA Laywers (tenant of the Forsyth Barr building)
  11.20am BREAK  
  11.35am  Ewan Carr Tenant of the Forsyth Barr building
  11.55am  Rob Jury and Dr Richard Sharpe Structural engineers, BECA. Authors of the Department of Building and Housing's technical investigation report into the Forsyth Barr stairs
  1.30pm LUNCH  
  2pm Rob Jury and Dr Richard Sharpe  
  3.05pm  Professor Nigel Priestley  Member of the Department of Building and Housing's expert panel
  4.05pm Steve McCarthy Environmental Policy and Approvals Manager, Christchurch City Council
  4.35pm ADJOURNMENT  
24 February    9.30am  Paul Tonkin Site manager for the construction of the Forsyth Barr building (formerly employed by Fletcher Construction)
  10.15am  John Hare Structural engineers for the Forsyth Barr  building; instructed by building owner to carry out post-earthquake assessment following the 4 September 2010 earthquake.
  10.20am BREAK  
  10.30am John Hare  
  11.45am  Des Bull Adjunct Professor University of Canterbury School of Engineering (author of 'Stairs and Access Ramps Between Floors in Multistorey Buildings')
  12.30pm HEARING COMPLETE  

Counsel Appearing

  • Duncan Laing and Nadine Daines, Simpson Grierson for Christchurch City Council
  • Garth Galloway of Chapman Tripp for Beca 
  • John Hannan of DLA Phillips Fox for Holmes Consulting Group

Submissions

No submissions were received.

Related Reports

Department of Building and Housing technical investigation reports

Department of Building and Housing technical investigation reports: peer review by William Holmes 

'Stairs and Access Ramps Between Floors in Multi-Storey Buildings' by Adjunct Professor Des Bull, August 2011