Exclusive Photos: Major damage as Stadium Southland's roof collapses under snow

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Photo's from WeatherWatch.co.nz and NewstalkZB reporter Malcolm Gayfer showing the catastrophic failure of Stadium Southland's roof following heavy snow on Saturday.


Stadium Southland Collapse

Well I hate to say this but I'm please Nature brought this Building down as it was Built as a Death Trap waiting to Kill many but Luckily no one was hurt there must be a God !
I'm a General Engineer with over 30 years Trade Experience and I've held a 4711 welding Ticket several Times, and I can't believe that this Huge Community Venue is now a Pile of Rubble . I have taken Photos which I have pondered over . I ask the Question if there was so much snow which was supposed to have brought the House down then Tell me Why 2 Trusses were still straight and in place . Change your focus to The Main Structure which I call the Bridge where the Blue Curtain once hung this Structure appears to be Held up with very Little in any form of Major Structure Underneath it . I have photos of 2 Concrete Post which measure 300mm X 400mm which appear to have Blown apart under Compression . I feel this Bridge Structure has collapsed bringing down all the Roof Structure which were all Held up by this one Main Bridge Structure. <>
I've also had a close look @ the Velodrome and I have Notified Simon Tokin ICC Building Regulations Manager on 5th Oct 2010 , That there are also several MAJOR FAULTS in the VELODROMES Construction and that it needs to be Closed down until repair work is Carried out . He said he would refer it on to the Councils Outside Civil Engineering Contractor to check out.
I Note that on Trusses No 2 & No12 that there are missing @ ( DETAIL - 36 ) 16 X M24 Gr 8.8 Bolts &
Approx 500 - 600mm of weld is missing @ ( F - F ) @ DETAIL - 28 on the same trusses , this welding may also be missing on some of the others if not on all.
Where the Trusses are fixed onto Channels @ ( F- F ) There are 6 X M20 Gr 8.8 > I ask why are these Main Bolts of the Smaller Size M20 & M22 when all others are M24 or Larger
There are also seriously Short M24 bolts @ (DETAIL - 5) on the North Eastern Corner and above on the Same Structure @ ( DETAIL - 4) there are 6 X M24 Bolts which have approx a 3mm gap between their Plates which is less than standard.
My Name is Karl Barkley and I'm Standing as a Candidate for The ICC and I consider what I have found is of the Poorest Standards for a Building which is suppose to be a Modern Building and supposedly Built to the Highest Standards as a Community Venue.
My Email sdsfarmsupplies@hotmail.com

lol only in Russia...oh wait

lol only in Russia...oh wait hang on

Stadium Southland structural or design failure or both.

A new new building such as this structure should never have failed under its first serious test of duress from snow loading. The province is known to have a big snow falls such as this every ten to fifteen years. All new buildings provincially are designed to withstand structural sheer forces from snow fall and earthquake.

Invercargill has many flat roofed buildings
1:The Warehouse
2:Mitre 10 Mega
3:Harvie Norman
4:Bond and Bond
7:Pack N Save
That is to just name a few modern era buildings.The Windsor street New World Supermarket that had a structural roof collapse is a far older structure by comparison.

Stadium Southland is a complex designed to host major events( provincial national and international). The stadium has hosted major events that has seen thousands of people through its doors.

Fact: For this structure to collapse like a pack of cards at its first real snow load test "signals some very serious unacceptable building issues". There has been a catastrophic structural or design flaw with this structure and during the building process there clearly has been substandard design or building practices or both.

If it were the case that snow load was responsible for this structural failure then clearly all the above mentioned buildings would have collapsed already also.
I have a building based background and like most structural minded people nearly all will know that there has been a major unacceptable catastrophic failure for this building to just literally fold to the ground.

We need to know who is responsible for this building failure and ensure the rebuild does not have the structural flaws that fallen structure had.

Southland Stadium roof collapse

Hi as an engineer I appreciate your comments and concerns and to be honest you are quiet right that this should have never happened.
However in 2007 a building that I designed in southland collapsed. The building was only 2 years old. The investigation found that the design snow load from the NZ building act was incorrect as a result the company that I worked for was absolved of all responsibility for the failure. In essence engineers design to a stated load for a particular building type/situation and in the above case the load stated was exceeded by 125% by a freak snow fall. Its my opinion that the code needs some revision but you need to keep in mind snow is like earthquakes, in that you cannot design for all situations unless you over design every building.
Cheers M

New Zealands Titantic This

New Zealands Titantic

This building was known to be at high risk because of a part failure of the structure during construction. My understanding is that ongoing restrictions were imposed regarding use of the stadium during periods of high snow fall. Anotherwords, it was known to be a ticking time bomb.

Clearly a desgin expert got a 'decimal point' in the wrong place when doing the calc's in the early days. Considering the potentail for loss of life due to this error (its a stadium after all) I am surprised that a 'sticking plaster' approch was used to solve what was a known design flaw.

This failure will be New Zealands Titantic. The fallout will involve ongoing reports, and it will become a lesson to all.


The natural reaction of the public is to expect a design fault when something collapses, but we may well find it was more complicated. I have a hard time imagining the two structural engineering firms could both stuff up the snow loading requirements on a major project to the extent of a catastrophic failure -although I'm sure it's happened before. Perhaps the products specified weren't installed? Perhaps what was installed wasn't what it said it was? Anyone in the construction industry vaguely familiar with stadiums will know about the financial disaster that was Wembley Stadium where the specified steel wasn't provided. Resulted in a massive lawsuit to untangle why substandard steel was allowed to be installed on site before it had to be replaced.

Despite Tim Shadbolt's tirade sound bites to date and over the next week, it will be very interesting to see just how bullish the local council are once the investigation from the insurers gets into swing as the poor beggars will be no doubt implicated via the sign off process.

Failure of the roof

I like the images showing the extent of damage.
Could someone please tell me if there is a recommended "roof pitch" for people in the snowy provinces?
Kind regards

Invercargill is at sea level

Invercargill is at sea level and is not a very snowy city. There are min pitches but this is more about weather tightness than snow loading. Changing the roof pitch slightly would not have saved this building.
But as you point out. Big flat buildings like this one are susceptable to failure from snow loading. I believe this particular building was flagged as high risk after complications during construction.

I seem to recall an issue

I seem to recall an issue with the steel work over the back courts sagging under its own weight when the building was being built. These were jacked up in the middle the stringers cut and shortened then rewelded. This according to the news was the area where the building collapse started. Are these welds still in tact.

Weld Failures on Stadium Roof

I have many photos of the Collapsed Building before & during demolition . From what I can see is that the Large Steel Bridge Type Structure ( carried the Blue Curtain) between the two Main Courts Area and the larger Public Courts is down on the Ground. I'm an Engineer with 30 years of General & Structual experience & In my appinion this should have had enough Steel & Concrete under it to allow it to be still Standing .
I ask the question is this the Aera which was carrying all the weight of the roofs as they all connected onto this Large Structure with very little under it to support it ( from my investigation I have photos of the Concrete Pillars which held all this weight)
I couldn't beleave how small they were at 300mm x 400mm with 4 x 20mm deformed rebar across the 300mm face with only 50mm of concrete covering them . These Pillars had shatter in the Collapse and my Photos show them with many cracks running through them.
If this is our New Zealand Building Code then I feel we Have a LOT of BUILDINGS which have BEEN BUILT with such a POOR STANDARD We could have many more Collapses happening around NZ.
I also ask people to Look @ the Southland Times photos which show the collapsed Stadium Looking into the Public Courts area and if the Snow was that Great to bend these Court Trusses ! Then can someone please explain to me why the 2 Trusses in the Photo are still in tacked & straight without being bent ?
I have Major concerns of the Qualitiy of the Build of another Public Buliding in Invercargill which I also have many Photos of, but I have been Told that I don't know what I'm Looking at . Sadly I do and I know from my Engineering Trade back ground what is Right or Wrong !!!!!
Karl Barkley Email : sdsfarmsupplies@gmail.com <> ph 027 5940090

Stadium southland engineering failure was before it was built.

I was on this site during consruction.
many people are not getting some simple facts.
1. The roof had major structual problems before it was even finished.
2. The roof started to slump as soon as the custom board on the bottom side was attached.
3.The roof had to be held up with several JLG lifts during this period.
4. The roof was never strong enough to even support its own weight

oooo, thanks for explaining

oooo, thanks for explaining possible reasons for the failure of the roof.
Nasty shortcuts to stay in budget perhaps.
So lucky the stadium wasn't full!