Sunday, July 12, 2009

Engineer studying hurricane damage

Photo by Julio Cortez//Houston Chronicle/AP

Kara Bridwell, 26, left, and her brother Paul Bisso, 17, stand on the roof of a neighbor’s house on Sept. 14, 2008, in Surfside Beach, Texas, after Hurricane Ike washed away the home. ORNL aeronautical engineer Andre Desjarlais went to Houston last year as part of a team from the roofing industry to study the damage left by Ike.

OAK RIDGE - As we enter the hurricane season for 2009, building researchers are still learning from hurricanes of the past - including last September's Hurricane Ike.

Andre Desjarlais, an aeronautical engineer who heads Oak Ridge National Laboratory's building envelopes research group, traveled to the Houston area last fall as part of a team from the roofing industry to study damage from Ike, which hit Texas.

Desjarlais' work focused on the vulnerability of buildings with large open areas, such as a garage or loading dock.

The ORNL researcher said high winds may cause those buildings to lose their roofs or suffer unusual damage, even if the construction meets up-to-date building codes. The door to a garage or other open spaces is usually the first to fail, creating additional stress on the building, he said.

The story at is here.

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