Southland Stadium investigation result reports released

Issue 39 – June 2012

The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) recently released the independent investigation report into the collapse of the Stadium Southland roof to key stakeholders and the media. The findings of the investigation are that the roof of Invercargill's Stadium Southland collapsed on 18 September 2010 because of substandard building design and construction.

The independent technical investigation, conducted jointly by Hyland Fatigue and Earthquake Engineering and Structure Smith Ltd, found four key factors contributed to the collapse of Stadium Southland on 18 September 2010:

  • heavy snowfall
  • problems with remedial works during construction
  • construction defects
  • design problems

The investigation found that elements of the stadium failed to comply with relevant New Zealand Building Code and associated Standards.

If the stadium had been constructed in accordance with the design documents for remedial works and construction Standards of the time, it is unlikely it would have collapsed under the snow on 18 September 2010.

DBH has accepted the report findings and recommendation that it provide guidance on the design of roof structures that are subject to snow loading.

DBH is also looking into the practicalities of the recommendation that building owners install snow alarms in long span (over 20 metres) steel structure buildings to warn occupants in case of excessive snow loading.

DBH is advising a Practice Advisory to territorial authorities to encourage building owners to check long span (over 20 metres) steel structures for any of the defects identified by the investigation.

DBH has referred the investigation report to the NZ Police and the Department of Labour, and provided a copy to IPENZ – the body responsible for monitoring the competence of engineers.

Summarised from information provided by DBH, 11 May 2012.


Published in building.