Reay aware of CTV building's weakness since 1991

10:33 pm on 17 August 2012

The man whose company designed the CTV building says he became aware of problems with its design just five years after it was completed.

Alan Reay, the principal of Alan Reay Consultants, has given evidence for the fifth time to the Royal Commission into the collapse of the central Christchurch building in the February 2011 earthquake that killed 115 people.

The CTV building was built in 1986. Dr Reay told the commission on Friday that he became aware of problems in its structure after the findings of an inspection were published in 1991.

He said once he inspected the plans in 1991, it became obvious to him that the building needed drag bars installed to support its horizontal floors.

But even knowing this, he told the inquiry that, to this day, he would not have called for a total building inspection in light of the weaknesses that the Holmes report - and he himself - had identified.

Earlier, an engineer for Alan Reay Consultants told the commission that he felt morally obligated to inform its new owners that it had structural issues when it was sold in 1991.

Geoff Banks said an inspection carried out in 1990 identified a number of anomalies in the building and recommended the installation of drag bars to support its horizontal floors.

Mr Banks told the inquiry that he and Alan Reay felt an ethical obligation to inform the new owner of these issues, but were prevented by the insurers. He said he was surprised that the new owner was not made aware of the issues.

The building was strengthened in 1991, but these alterations have since been deemed non-compliant with the building code.

The Royal Commission has now heard all the evidence. Closing submissions will be made on 5 and 6 September and the commission will present its findings to the Governor-General in November.

A Coroner's inquest into the deaths will reconvene at the end of October, focusing on six people who survived the CTV building's initial collapse, but were unable to be rescued.