Hurricane Sandy buries the Wicked Witch of the North(easter)   Leave a comment

.
.

Hurricane Sandy buries the Wicked Witch of the North(easter)

.
.

.
.

Just like in the Oz movie, Hurricane Sandy lifted this 80’ long barn roof in one piece and dropped it in a field. 

.
.

DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS was busy during Hurricane Sandy running to projects in ravaged Belmar, New Jersey, flooded  Hoboken New Jersey, and right in their own back yard in Central New Jersey.   A 16’ x 84’ long roof assembly lifted directly off a barn at Duke Farms.  In almost a surgical fashion, Hurricane Sandy grabbed one half of the gabled upper roof assembly and detached it with very little damage to the remaining structure.

In Hurricanes, buildings either implode or explode from the high wind pressure.  It is not uncommon to find after a storm that two adjacent buildings have been destroyed by two different methods.  One building implodes and all materials remain in a heap and another building explodes and parts of it are found everywhere.  The reason is simple.   If flying debris breaks a window or a loose exterior detaches, then the high pressure wind is able to get inside the structure, and under the right conditions, burst the structure open.  This is what happened to the maternity barn at Duke Farms.    The weakest link let go and that happened to be the wood framed roof.  The exterior walls of the barn were concrete block.

Gusts can also cause a building to implode when forces exceed the design capacity of the structure.  Sometimes, improper construction can be the culprit.  This is why every project we design includes a nailing schedule specifying how many nails, what size and what spacing.    These things matter when  there is a storm.  Also, windows come in a hurricane grade which resist breakage when heavy objects are hurled at them at terrific speeds.  These simple steps can sometimes save a building.

.
.
.                                 .

The upper roof of this 7,000 sf barn weighing several tons was lifted by Sandy as one piece and then dropped a short distance away.    Note that the hay pile remained intact.

Facility Manager, Joseph Wyatt LEED AP, assembled a quick response team for the storm damage at Duke Farms.  The roof assembly broke in half upon landing.

 A clean separation between framing halves of this barn can be seen at the ridge pole.  It will be possible to rebuild the barn using many of the original components.

The sequence of events:   Fragments of in-blown glass were only evident in a small location seen below in this photo taken  from where the clerestory windows were once in position.   As soon as the envelope was breached, wind pressure filled the structure with such force as to cause some part to explode.  The roof popped up in one piece and the steady windy blew it clear of the rest of the structure. The remaining windows all blew out like the roof.

The blown off roof immediately reduced the wind pressure and no further damage occurred.

.
.

.
.

DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS assists owners with storm damage and navigate the difficult insurance claim process.   Dennis Kowal, AIA LEED AP, has disaster assessment training with the American Institute of Architects and is on the Board of the American Red Cross.

.
.

.
.

DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS provides expert structural assessments when the unexpected happens.

.
.
.
.

Unrelated advertisement below;  Please leave a comment about this blog in the comment box below the advertisement or click on more stories from the category list at the upper left top of this blog.

.
.
.
.
Advertisements

Posted November 7, 2012 by Dennis Kowal Architects in Renovation

Tagged with , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: