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Engineers who are interested in helping preserve historic buildings and volunteering in New Orleans please reply to the following/attached email from the N.O. Preservation Resource Center. The buildings in question were previously determined to be salvageable by a group of volunteer engineers reviewing red tagged historic buildings (early in the post-disaster safety assessments) but now need some additional review to confirm construction crews can safely construct the shoring needed to stabilize them. Generally the need is to conceptually outline how the shoring can be safely accomplished such that additional time can be bought by the building owners such that detailed engineering can be produced for the permanent repairs. Local engineering resources are overwhelmed. Such work is well established and outlined in a publication for post-earthquake stabilization available from the International Code Council web site: http://www.iccsafe.org/dyn/prod/9134S98.html The techniques used post-earthquake are essentially the same as post hurricane. I am also an available resource for engineers interested in helping out.

Roy Harthorn, Consulting Building Official
Santa Barbara, CA
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Gentlemen:
 
You all were so wonderful when you came to help the PRC and National Trust earlier this year with our red tagged building surveys and homeowner consultations. We desperately need your help again.
 
The City of New Orleans has publicly announced its intent to demolish some of the red tagged buildings we determined from your surveys could be saved. We've notified property owners of buildings we want saved, and several of them agree with us and are trying to make repairs.
 
Here's where we having a problem. To keep their buildings from being demolished, owners have to request that the city remove them from the red tag list. But, the city is requiring property owners to supply a structural engineer's report stating the building is safe to enter and sound enough to make the necessary repairs. Structural engineers in the city are overbooked and thus hard to find.
 
We've tried to find New Orleans area firms who could help in this effort through the Engineering Society of Louisiana, but have not been successful. So, do you all know of other professional organizations we might call on? Or is any other way we might be able to find one or two structural engineers who quickly help with this? We facing a June 9 deadline for homeowners to submit their opposition to demolition to the city.
 
As part of this fight, we may have offer shoring as an alternative to demolition (one of the mitigation strategies that's been discussed with FEMA as part of Section 106 review). Do you all have any ideas on what groups may be able to offer shoring services and materials? If we can line something up, then we can say to the city that we are stabilizing the buildings we don't want demolished.
 
We so appreciate any help you can give us and hope we can get you back to New Orleans sometime soon. I had to send this from my personal e-mail account, but you can respond to me at (504) 636-3047 or sbonnette(--nospam--at)prcno.org.
 
Thanks so much,
 
Sarah Bonnette
Information Manager, PRC's Operation Comeback

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