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September 2011
Keast & Hood Co. Aids Building Owners with Emergency-Response Structural Engineering Services

The Mid-Atlantic has been battered by forces of nature not often seen in the region, let alone in the span of a week. On Tuesday, August 23, an historic magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck southern Virginia, with rumbles felt along the East Coast as far away as Boston. This was followed just a few days later by Hurricane Irene, whose wind and water damage stretched from the Carolina coast as far north as Vermont. Record amounts of rainfall have compounded problems.

Keast & Hood Co. has worked tirelessly in the weeks following the events, aiding building owners and agencies with condition assessments, stabilization, and structural engineering for repairs.

“Our entire Washington staff has been out full-time reviewing buildings for damage and providing emergency response,” said Principal Matthew J. Daw, PE, LEED AP. “Our engineers have been in constant motion between Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Annapolis, and places in between to evaluate buildings and reassure tenants and owners that they are safe.”

Keast & Hood Co.’s Philadelphia staff has provided engineering support to the harder-hit DC region, along with tending to client needs in greater Philadelphia, by sending a rotation of teams to augment the Washington staff.

Engineering services are being provided for the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, where Jon Tung is overseeing emergency stabilization. Craig Swift has assisted with the careful dismantlement of the spire at Saint Patrick’s Church in Baltimore (pictured), which will be reconstructed using the original stone elements. Keast & Hood Co. was part of a team that reviewed all 80 elementary and middle schools in Loudoun County, Virginia, assessed over 20 buildings at Johns Hopkins University, and evaluated the portfolio of the Baltimore Archdiocese including Baltimore Basilica. In addition, government-owned properties were evaluated for the Treasury Department, HUD Headquarters, US Secret Service, the Architect of the Capitol, and a division of the World Health Organization. Several foreign embassies and other privately-owned buildings also were reviewed.

Principal Dean Doukakis, PE, was interviewed by Philadelphia Inquirer writer Mensah Dean for an article on the earthquake stability of Philadelphia’s buildings, which were affected but not significantly damaged by the August 23rd event.

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