Severe Weather Conditions Damage Roof of Sesame’s Experimental Hall

 News Corner 2013 12 17 Collapse SESAME Roof No04a Photo
© 2013 SESAME: Inside the experimental hall, the spinal truss, which supports the roof, resting on the concrete shielding wall after the roof caved in following an unprecedented amount of snow mixed with sleet and water that accumulated on the roof during unusually severe snowstorms in Jordan.

Jordan was hit by unusually severe snowstorms that started on the evening of 11 December and continued until the night of 14 December, with intermittent rain and sleet. They intensified on the evening of 13 December/morning of 14 December with snow falling continuously from 7 p.m. on 13 December until approximately 8 a.m. the following morning.

At about 4.50 a.m. on 14 December, the guards on the premises of SESAME reported that the steel roof of the experimental hall had caved in. The spinal truss, which supports the roof and rests on 4 concrete columns, bent and is resting in the middle of the concrete shielding wall.

This appears to have been caused by the unprecedented amount of snow mixed with sleet and water that accumulated on the roof, which resulted in so great an overload that the roof caved in. Observations have revealed an accumulation of 40-50 cm of this mixture. The steel structure was designed for loads of up to 175 kg/m2 (the safety code in Jordan for buildings at the altitude of Allan is 75 kg/m2), and the accumulation on the roof resulted in a load of 250-350 kg/m2.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt and no equipment was damaged.

A contractor is presently working on site to secure the structure. A crew will move from the outside perimeters to the inside of the experimental hall by placing hydraulic posts and supports to the structure. They are expected to be in place by the end of the first week of January 2014 after which the structure will be secure and the SESAME staff will be able to resume their work on site. In the spring/summer of 2014, when there is normally no rain in the Allan region, the structure will be restored to its original state and further consolidated to withstand such severe, abnormal weather conditions.

Despite the blow of this very regrettable incident, work on commissioning of the booster is only expected to be delayed by a few weeks.