Building center to study damage from Md. twister


May 05, 2002

The National Association of Home Builders Research Center announced Wednesday that it has begun a comprehensive study of housing performance during the category F5 tornado that hit La Plata on April 28.

The study will focus on the effect of various building technologies on disaster resistance. The study follows the center's work in natural disaster housing condition assessments.

The center, in Upper Marlboro, will base its evaluation on a scientific sampling of the housing stock within the vortex and in the inflow areas of the tornado - the most severe in the state's history.

"It is vital for us to understand why some houses survive natural disasters, while others do not - so that the residential construction industry can begin to build with these factors in mind as soon as possible," said Liza Bowles, NAHB Research Center president.

Researchers will analyze such characteristics as the age of the home, the framing technologies used and relevant construction practices. The staff has started to analyze video footage taken last week from above the 30-mile swath of the tornado.

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