00:29:08 - 00:32:39 Projects
Projects, challenges, wall strength; housing, design, wind; market uses, funding problems
So was that one of the projects that gave you the most satisfaction when you were done with it or did you just find it to be a big challenge?
It was a big challenge, yeah, I mean there were things that we did from there, we started doing research in looking at sheer wall performance after that. Then we did a study on roof systems looking at load distribution in roof systems. A lot of this all got tied in with a lot of the work on codes and standards, design standards, for light-frame. I suppose you could say it was somewhat of a frustrating job in that it was difficult to get funding to do the research on things that might have been outside of the box. Basically the way houses are built, if you take a look at---we build our houses as these rectangular boxes and whenever wind hits a rectangular box you set up turbulence around those sharp edges, the corners, the high stress points on any building, using curved corners, or at the ridge of the house, or at the eves. The only way you can really avoid some of that is to try and design these houses so you are not going to get these stress concentration points, you know that would say you want to build rounded corners, you want to build arch type roofs, you want to build domes. Those types of geometries would not be so suspect or so, I want to say, prone to damage in a heavy wind. But the problem with that is it's so far out of the norm that a lot of people really didn't want to. I mean it's kind of a risky type research, the type of thing I thought the Forest Products Lab should do, but to say that there will be an immediate market for it obviously you are not going to---you have a tough time selling people on trying to build aerodynamic roof systems, which are round or arched or domed. Our entire truss industry and the whole building industry is based on these prismatic or rectangular members, it's based on square boxes, not round. So it's difficult to try and get people to fund research to do something that they don't think the market is going to buy. I thought it was always interesting though if you take a look back at any research that's done at the Lab, anything that was ever---ever came to be popular, it took 15, 20 years from the time research was done to the time that these products really ever got totally accepted. So you always have to be kind of be willing to take some risk but it's one of those things of trying to appeal to the right people, write your research proposals so that you get somebody willing to fund it, but in many cases the funding, if it's coming through the government, some congressman has to be able to take that and sell that to people in congress, of course it's difficult for them to sell some of these ideas that they think might be a little harebrained or too off the wall for research.