Today I met with the Faculty and Researchers of the Universita Facolta di Ingegneria (Engineering) from the Seismic Engineering department. They are playing a major role in the analysis of the damage and precribing methods for repair and for new construction. They are charged with:
1. Developing rules for redevelopment
2. Evaluating the levels of damage
3. Estimating the costs of repair.
4. Developing safety procedures for repair and restoration.
5. Studying the mechanical properties of materials.
6. Developing procedures for repair and new construction.
7. Developing seismic standards for future development.
They received donations from the Rotary club to evaluate the damage to the university and the historic buildings and to assist in the restoration of the regional hospital (which is about 80% operating). They are awaiting funding from the government to look at new earthquake construction standards and techniques. They were involved in the construction of new housing units since the earthquake that have floating pier / columns that will float and move during a quake so as not to crumble the building. They were very interested in discussing the construction recovery projects post Katrina and Gustav. We discussed the timing of the process and the need to take the proper steps in the beginning to insure that the new buildings can survive future disasters. They have developed a priority list of how to get the community back into action which was similar to our experiences in New Orleans where we worked on repairing the housing and commerce so as to give the people returning to the area a place to live and work. They, as we were, are frustrated with the speed of recovery. I toured their labs to see the work they are doing on testing materials and analyzing materials from damaged buildings and for future construction.