Missing CTV design files unlikely to be found

02:31, Jul 16 2012
Alan Reay July 16
SHATTERED: Alan Reay, director of Alan Reay Consultants Ltd (ARCL) gives evidence today.

Missing documents relating to the Canterbury Television (CTV) building design are unlikely to be recovered, an inquiry has heard.

Dr Alan Reay, the engineer whose company designed the building, today continued his evidence at a royal commission hearing.

The commission's lawyer for victims' families, Marcus Elliot, asked Reay why key documents requested by the commission had not been provided.

Reay said not all files relating to the CTV building were retained.

"We had no legal obligation to retain job files ... It was just us retaining what was appropriate," he said.

Some company files held in an off-site storage facility had been ruined by a leaking roof.


Documents later supplied to the commission were discovered in a storage box marked "miscellaneous".

Reay said he looked for more files, but found none.

"I haven't been able to find any [files] and I don't think there are any," he said.

The information provided to the commission was printed from disks.

Elliot asked Reay to produce the disks, but Reay said they were disposed of after being transferred to a hard drive.


Simulating the effects quakes had on the building would have cost "several million", Reay said.

Reay last week told the hearing he was "dissatisfied" with a Department of Building and Housing (DBH) report on why the building collapsed in the quake.

More experiments, such a reduced-scale model of the CTV building being tested on a shake table, should have been done, he said.

Today, under questioning from commissioner Richard Fenwick, Reay said the cost of that testing would have been "several million".

Fenwick suggested modelling the shaking would not be a "simple matter".

"You've this building, half scale, weighing hundreds of tonnes and put on a shake table. These shake tables are enormously expensive to run," he said.

Last week, Reay presented to the commission five possible collapse scenarios in response to the DBH findings.

Commission chairman Justice Mark Cooper questioned why Reay had not provided calculations in his report or studied the building plans.

"I was putting forward scenarios I considered hadn't been considered. I wasn't analysing those and coming up with a definitive answer," Reay said.

"It could be that some of them aren't significant in relation to the collapse of the building. In preparing a report such as the DBH prepared, I would have expected some investigation and analysis of those [alternative scenarios]."

Reay earlier expressed concerns about the inadequate time given to respond to the report.

However, Cooper said he had six months between the report and hearing to consider the other possible explanations for the collapse.

The Press