mobile logo

featured image

Did a Windstorm knock off the Ducks’ Barn?

posted on January 10, 2018 / IN Forensic Investigation /

Circumstances

One (1) section of a barn (hereinafter referred to as Barn X) used for rearing ducks was reported to have collapsed. Prior to the alleged incident, the weather near the premises was reported to be windy and drizzling but no heavy rain.

Damage Assessment

Figure 1: Aerial view revealed the allegedly windstorm-affected section of Barn X (red rectangle).
Figure 1: Aerial view revealed the allegedly windstorm-affected section of Barn X (red rectangle).
Figure 2: One (1) lumber column had detached from its concrete base and was observed to have rotten (red rectangle).
Figure 3: The partially-collapsed section shows the lumber frames that were broken at the joints (red arrows) and flooring pieces that were scattered on the ground (yellow oval).
Figure 4: Columns below the floor of Barn X that depict additional ‘L’-shaped lumber members (red arrows) installed adjacent to the existing main columns with concrete bases (yellow arrows).
Figure 4: Columns below the floor of Barn X that depict additional ‘L’-shaped lumber members (red arrows) installed adjacent to the existing main columns with concrete bases (yellow arrows).
Figure 5: Panoramic view shows severe slanting of columns (red arrows), ‘L’-shaped lumber member (yellow arrow) affixed adjacent to the existing columns, and diagonally-placed lumber supports (blue arrow) which are anchored.
Figure 5: Panoramic view shows severe slanting of columns (red arrows), ‘L’-shaped lumber member (yellow arrow) affixed adjacent to the existing columns, and diagonally-placed lumber supports (blue arrow) which are anchored.
Figures 6: The lumber column located at (C2, R3) had shifted and the fractured section shows white paint on the surfaces of the dimensionally-reduced region (red arrow), just above the fractured end. Wood debris (yellow arrow) was found within the anchor point of the concrete base.
Figures 6: The lumber column located at (C2, R3) had shifted and the fractured section shows white paint on the surfaces of the dimensionally-reduced region (red arrow), just above the fractured end. Wood debris (yellow arrow) was found within the anchor point of the concrete base.
Figures 7: Close-up views of the tubular-shaped voids with green mould around the base end (left) and rotten fractured end (right), located at (C1, R1).
Figures 7: Close-up views of the tubular-shaped voids with green mould around the base end (left) and rotten fractured end (right), located at (C1, R1).
Figure 8: Layout of the partially-collapsed section with its damage profile.

Conclusion

Failure due to Windstorm Damage

Based on the assessment of the structural integrity and historical weather, the failure of the structure of Barn X was not caused by the alleged windstorm incident.

Possible Failure Mechanism

Barn X had sustained progressive organic consumption and weathering throughout the years, partially collapsed as triggered by the movement of the ducks within the barn. The lack of more supporting columns along the north of the partially-collapsed section to offset the concentration of stress also portrayed an important role to the structural failure.

Definitions

Consumption

The destruction, radical conversion, or disappearance of a building material by any one of a variety of processes or organisms that consume the material, including fire, termites, beetles, worms, enzymes, rodents, fungi, microbial corrosion, decay, and bacterial fermentation.

Weathering

Degradation due to exposure to the weather.

By Chew Wan Chyn

At AGI, she investigated a range of caseworks such as fire investigation involving both large and small scales of premises and motor vehicles, vehicle accident reconstruction, failure analysis of biomedical equipment, damage assessment of building material.

AGI’s Professional Restoration