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Documentary filmmakers visit wood materials lab

Documentary filmmakers are visiting WSU’s Wood Materials and Engineering Lab today as part of a film project titled “Disaster Resistant Homes.”

Dr. Dan Dolan, a WSU professor of civil and environmental engineering and an expert in low-rise building design, is the star of WSU’s portion of the film. For the film, Dolan will simulate how homes respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes by conducting an experiment on a building wall.

In the experiment, he will introduce different loads of stress onto the wall and push it until it fails, simulating actual natural disaster stress. It is a test that building designers and contracters must pass before construction, so that they may determine what factors of the building design will avoid failure in a time of disaster.

The film, which is slated to air on PBS in late 2005 or early 2006, will discuss different aspects of what makes homes structurally sound, as well as talk to a family whose home was destroyed in a natural disaster. The film project is taking the filmmakers around the country; they were filming in Florida before arriving in Pullman.

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