© St. Petersburg Times, published June 27, 1999
An analysis commissioned by the Times sampled 31 gable-roof designs from around the state and found that only four met the Standard Building Code. Because the finding was controversial, the Times asked seven experts to review the mathematical model used in the analysis. The model also was sent to the Florida Board of Professional Engineers, which had its own expert review it. All eight men said the analysis is valid.
Here are brief biographies of the key experts involved, starting with the engineer who created the Times analysis:
Nick Bradford, P.E. (professional engineer)
Created the mathematical model used to analyze these homes. Bradford is a licensed Florida engineer who spent three years at Dansco Engineering, one of the largest residential engineering firms in the state; he served as senior structural engineer there for more than a year. He is a doctoral candidate in engineering at the University of South Florida and has his own consulting firm in Tampa.
Jaime M. Eisen, P.E.
Has been a building official in Miami-Dade since 1975, during which time he verified the code compliance of structural plans for residential, commercial and industrial permit applications. His previous experience includes stress analysis and the complete structural design of 29-story high-rise apartments, office buildings and a 400-bed hospital, shopping centers, schools and residences in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables and Miami.
John M. Harrington, P.E.
Specialized in bridge design and inspection, roadway and building design. He designed the foundations for the Kumba, the Montu and the Tanganyika Tidal Wave rides at Busch Gardens in Tampa, as well as 10 bridges for St. Petersburg, three bridges for Hernando County and four bridges for Ecuador. He served on the Southern Building Code Congress International Wind Load Ad Hoc Committee and worked with the SSTD10-93 committee on hurricane resistant construction. He was a contributing editor to the University of Miamis report on Hurricane Andrew. He also has experience with wind-tunnel analysis of structures for hurricane resistance.
James R. Mehltretter, P.E.
A vice president at Paulus Sokolowski and Sartor Inc. consulting engineers. His projects include the expansion of the Museum of Science and Industry, various area schools, the Harbor Island project and the parking structure at the Orlando International Airport. He is the structural engineer on the Florida Building Code Commission, which is charged with creating the states uniform building code. Mehltretter later agreed with Lennar that one of its house plans in the study met code.
Joseph E. Minor, Ph.D., P.E.
Of Texas, internationally recognized expert in wind engineering. He has supervised investigations into more than 60 damaging wind storms. His expertise includes building-code provisions for wind loads and the economics of wind-resistant construction. He is an associate of the Southern Building Code Congress International and an associate of the Institute for Building and Home Safety. He is a research professor at the graduate center for materials research, University of Missouri-Rolla, and a consulting engineer in private practice.
Rajan Sen, Ph.D.
Samuel & Julia Flom Professor, University of South Florida Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineerings methods of analysis committee and a member of the Florida Masonry Handbook Committee. He applied for grant money to research the wind-resistance of gable roof systems. He oversaw Bradfords work at USFs engineering program.
Jeffrey B. Stone, Ph.D.
Of Tierra Verde, Southeast Regional manager of the American Forest and Paper Association. He assisted in the 1994 National Hurricane Program Task Force in improvement and expansion of the National Hurricane Program for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He received the Emergency Management Award at the 1994 Governors Hurricane Conference. He was the Wind Load Committee chairman for the Southern Building Code Congress International in 1992-93 and helped write its Hurricane Resistant Home Construction manual.
Ronald F. Zollo, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor of civil and architectural engineering at the University of Miami. He is a fellow in both the American Society of Civil Engineering and the American Concrete Institute, where he serves on numerous committees. He was a member of the Dade County Task Force on the South Florida Building Code after Hurricane Andrew and was the principal author of the universitys report on Andrews damage. He is a partner in Engineering Analytics Inc., a consulting engineering firm.
Additionally, each of 27 house plans found deficient in the
analysis conducted by Bradford was independently reviewed by one of the following engineers. Of those 27 plans, one homes gable wall was found to meet code.
Zollo, who reviewed three sets of plans for the newspaper.
James Owen Power, P.E.
The consulting engineer employed by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers to represent the agency in its enforcement actions. He is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was the structural engineer for the Sheraton Four Ambassadors hotel in Miami, several wings and buildings for Miamis Mercy Hospital and USFs agriculture research facility. He published the final report of the Caribbean Hurricane Seminar in 1956, entitled Building Construction and Precautionary Maintenance in Hurricane Areas. At the request of the state Board of Engineers, Power reviewed seven sets of plans.
Jimmy Schilling, P.E.
Consulting structural engineer in private practice. He designed the University of Central Floridas computer building and various bank buildings in Brevard County. He served as an expert witness in the Department of Business and Professional Regulations investigation of construction problems at the Buccaneer Condominium in Satellite Beach and also designed the buildings structural repairs. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the Florida Institute of Technology since 1979. He was selected the 1994 engineer of the year by the Canaveral Council of Technical Societies and the Florida Engineering Society. Schilling reviewed 17 sets of plans.
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