Structural engineers assess building damage in Haiti

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Structural engineers assess building damage in Haiti Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                  Canadian Mennonite February 22, 2010                       19

                                                             Help for Haiti


Structural engineers assess                                                                        “We really like the people-to-people part
                                                                                                   of it,” he said. “With going fast from place

building damage in Haiti                                                                           to place, we still want to get in and sit a
                                                                                                   couple minutes with the people who are
                                                                                                   there, get to know the little children, . . .
By Linda Espenshade                                                                                not just look at concrete and steel.”
Mennonite Central Committee Release                                                                   MCC plans to keep a changing team of
                                                                                                   four structural engineers working in Haiti

W         hen the structural engineers working
          with Mennonite Central Committee
(MCC) in Haiti evaluate the soundness of
                                                 that could be fixed without engineers, and
                                                 two would need technical expertise to
                                                 complete the repairs, Zimmermann said.
                                                                                                   through the end of February.
                                                                                                      MCC’s office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s
                                                                                                   capital, was the first beneficiary of the en-
earthquake-damaged buildings, their clas-          Initially, the engineers sent by MCC            gineers’ work, when Zimmermann and
sification system is very practical:             were spending several hours assessing each        two other team members arrived on Jan.
• Is it safe to use?                             building and explaining to Haitian build-         23, less than two weeks after the quake.
• Can it be used with restrictions?              ers how to make repairs. They soon real-          The engineers determined that the office
• Should it be abandoned?                        ized that approach wasn’t time-efficient.         was safe but in need of repair, and a nearby
   Dur
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: "What we're doing now is emergency work," said Johann Zimmermann, a licensed structural engineer from Harrisonburg, Va., who is leading MCCs team. "People have to get off the street. People have to get back in the buildings."Zimmermann is touched by the openness and kindness of Haitians who are anxious with every tremor and fear entering any building that has not been evaluated. "We really like the people- to- people part of it," he said. "With going fast from place to place, we still want to get in and sit a couple minutes with the people who are there, get to know the little children, . . . not just look at concrete and steel."MCCs office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, was the first beneficiary ofthe engineers' work, when Zimmermann and two other team members arrived on Jan. 23, less than two weeks after the quake. The engineers determined that the office was safe but in need of repair, and a nearby medical clinic/classroom building would be usable once two columns on the first floor were strengthened.
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