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University of New Mexico Takes a Close Look At Practice Facility Using Summit Structures’ Design

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An independent engineering report prepared for the University of New Mexico about its Albuquerque indoor practice facility found that wind pressure could enter the building through openings in the structure and not escape, putting the training facility at risk of collapse. The investigation by Chavez-Grieves Consulting Engineers in Albuquerque found the school’s steel-and-fabric facility had been designed by Summit Structures, Allentown, Pa., as an enclosed building. However, the independent engineers concluded that louvers, roll-up doors and other openings created a partially enclosed building. Currently, the university uses the facility only when the louvers and doors are closed and the wind stays below 60 mph. Scott Heatly, a partner with Chavez-Grieves, suggests the university could make simple modifications to the existing structure—such as permanently closing doors and changing louvers, so they do not allow air into the building—that would help ensure it functions as an enclosed building. Several Summit buildings have collapsed in recent years, including the Dallas Cowboys practice building, which prompted the university to undertake an independent review.

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