Experts appointed in quake investigation

The Hotel Grand Chancellor. Photo / Greg Bowker
The Hotel Grand Chancellor. Photo / Greg Bowker

A team of experts has been appointed to help with the investigation into the performance of destroyed buildings in Christchurch following the February earthquake.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson today said the investigation of the Canterbury TV, Pyne Gould Corporation, Forsyth Barr and Hotel Grand Chancellor buildings was expected to be completed by July 31.

"However, it is important to get this right rather than simply on time. It may be that more time is needed to undertake the work properly," he said.

The investigation would report on:

* The original design and construction of the buildings;

* the impact of any alterations;

* how the buildings performed in the September quake and the aftershocks;

* what assessments of the building's stability were made;

* and why the buildings collapsed or suffered serious damaged during the February quake.

Mr Williamson said a panel, chaired by construction law expert Sherwyn Williams, would provide guidance on the methodology of the inquiry and review the findings.

Members of the panel include Professor Nigel Priestley, Associative Professor Stefano Pampanin, seismologist Helen Anderson, architect Peter Millar, Marshall Cook, Peter Fehl, George Skimming and structural engineers Adam Thornton, Rob Jury and Clark Hyland.

Engineering companies which are to assist with the technical investigation have also been chosen.

The companies are Beca Consultants, Dunning Thornton Ltd, StructureSmith, and Hyland Fatigue and Earthquake Engineering.

The department is inviting the public to supply photographs, video recordings, and first-hand accounts of the state or performance of each buildings.

- NZPA

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