Study of Structural Damage to Hurricane-Affected Buildings Commences

Oct. 18, 2005

16 organizations partner to assess damages from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

On Oct. 13, 2005, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) began assessing the physical structures damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The first of three teams have been deployed to the nation’s Gulf Coast to document damage to major buildings, infrastructure facilities, and residential structures due to wind, wind-borne debris, storm surge, surge-borne debris, and flooding. Other goals include collecting damage and environmental data from other sources, correlating damage data with environmental data, and identifying building codes and practices used in the affected areas.

Upon completion of the study, a single report that documents findings and recommends additional assessments will be produced. According to an NIST press release, this report will also include information on the immediate implications for building practices, standards, and codes.

On the three damage assessment teams, NIST will be accompanied by members from the Applied Technology Council, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, the Intl. Code Council, the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, the National Research Council of Canada, Texas Tech University, the University of Buffalo, the University of Puerto Rico, Amtech Roofing Consultants Inc., Applied Residential Engineering Services, ImageCat Inc., Scawthorn Porter Associates Inc., Shiner Moseley and Associates Inc., and Smith & Huston Inc.

The first team spent 4 days in the East Texas/West Louisiana coastal areas affected by Hurricane Rita. The remaining two teams were deployed on Oct. 17 to regions affected by Hurricane Katrina.

To find out more about the study, visit (www.nist.gov).

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