The boss of the Christchurch design firm responsible for the CTV Building was nicknamed "The Doctor'' by his workers who thought he came across as "very well educated'' and "superior'', a hearing has been told.
The royal commission of inquiry hearing into the six-storey building's collapse in the February 22 earthquake, which claimed 115 lives, enters its seventh week this morning.
Former structural draughtsman for Alan Reay Consultants, Terry Horn, took the stand today to paint a picture of his ex-boss Alan Reay.
Dr Reay has previously given evidence to the hearing that he had limited input into the building's design, saying he worked between one-and-a-half hours and three hours on it.
He says its final design was the "sole responsibility'' of his structural engineer David Harding.
Today Mr Horn said that Dr Reay - known by some clients and colleagues as "The Doctor'' because of the importance he gave to his doctorate - had tight control of his projects.
Mr Horn, who says he did not work on the CTV building, told the hearing that Dr Reay encouraged his draughtsmen and engineers to design buildings with "as much efficiency as possible''.
He would be criticised by his boss if he "over-detailed'' his drawings, or did too much work.
The royal commission has previously been told that Dr Reay was known for buildings that were no stronger or expensive than was required to meet the bare minimum of building standards.
Mr Horn said Dr Reay came across as being "very well educated and superior'' and liked a quiet office place.
"He did, sort of, know better ... and you were left in no doubt that he knew more than you,'' Mr Horn said.
Last week, the hearing was told that a city council engineer in the building control unit in 1986 often queried designs submitted by Alan Reay Consultants.
The widow of Graeme Tapper told how her late husband signed off the building under pressure from bosses despite concerns he had over its design, and that it was an earthquake risk.
Today, Mr Horn said that Dr Reay nicknamed him 'Colonel Tapper' after becoming "frustrated'' with his close scrutiny of his designs.
The hearing continues with evidence from other Alan Reay Consultants' employees, before delving into the building permit process for the Madras St building.