CATHER-POUND DEMOLITION/WHAT TO EXPECT: Building a stronger future

CATHER-POUND DEMOLITION/WHAT TO EXPECT: Building a stronger future

Calendar Icon Dec 21, 2017      Person Bust Icon By Karl Vogel     RSS Feed RSS

Terri Norton, associate professor of construction engineering.
Terri Norton, associate professor of construction engineering.

Nebraska Engineering faculty Daniel Linzell and Richard Wood are studying the demolition of the Cather and Pound residence halls to learn more about how the buildings will react to different forces – from the intentional weakening of the structures before the implosion to the extreme load that will cause them to tumble.

Terri Norton, associate professor of construction engineering, said the debris that is left after the implosion could also teach lessons that could help communities and nations around the world better recover from natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

“One of the major costs during the demolition process is the management of debris – i.e. sorting, hauling, recycling and disposing,” Norton said. “My current research involves understanding the components of this process and how it affects the recovery of a community following a major disaster.”

Norton, who is also a Fulbright Research Scholar at Tohoku University in Japan, has studied the recovery efforts in Japan after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. Norton said understanding the size of the debris field and the types of debris that will be created can help with the cleanup after the event.

“It is necessary to know how much debris is generated as it affects the haul away/transport process – cost and time for transport, number of trucks needed, locations of processing facilities,” Norton said. “I am also interested in debris materials that can be recycled for reconstruction, particularly in the construction of temporary shelters or small structures in disaster affected communities.

Concrete debris is typically processed and crushed and it can be recycled for use in other construction projects as backfill material, excavation projects, roadbeds or parking lots. However, there are new uses for the material, Norton said.

“Once the concrete material is removed from the demolition site it can be temporarily stored in stockpiles until future use. Recycled concrete can also be used as aggregate material in new concrete,” Norton said. “During my Fulbright research (in Japan), I observed the concrete debris being used as fill material for the raising of ground elevations, fill material for memorial hills and embankments as well as used for seawall construction and breakwaters.”