I should be upstairs watching the golf tournament. Tomorrow, I’ll wish I had been. All the guys will be talking about it and I won’t even know who won.
But here I am at the computer, Googling for a fare thee well, and all because someone took the trouble to post a detailed comment on my last blog.
So here’s what I found out:
NIST stands for National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.
The agency operates in two locations: Gaithersburg, Md., (a 578-acre campus) and Boulder, Colo., (a 208-acre campus). NIST employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel..
NIST has an annual budget of nearly a billion dollars.
Derek Israel, the correspondent who commented on my blog, insisted that a final report determined that WTC 7 collapsed because of fire. Period. No mystery, nothing strange or questionable.
So I dug up the report. It came from NIST. Here were its goals:
•Investigate the building construction, the materials used, and the technical conditions that contributed to the outcome of the disaster;
•To serve as the basis for:
o Improvements in the way buildings are designed, constructed, maintained and used
o Improved tools and guidance for industry safety officials
o Recommended revisions to current codes, standards, and practices, and,
o Improved Public Safety.
And here were the Specific Objectives:
1.Determine why and how WTC1 and WTC2 collapsed following the initial impact of the aircraft and why and how WTC7 collapsed.
2.Determine why the injuries were so high or low depending on the location, including all technical aspects of fire protection, occupant behavior, evacuation and emergency response
3.Determine what procedures and practices were used in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7, and,
4.Identify, as specifically as possible, areas of current building and fire codes, standards and practices that warrant revision.
Pardon me, but I find all that stuff bureaucratic gooble de goop. “How and Why the building collapsed?” Not “Did it collapse or did it implode?”
They found no evidence of a blast, and no reason to suspect that a blast occurred.
Still, the Executive Summary of their report starts with this:
“This was the first known instance of the total collapse of a tall building due to fire. The fires in WTC7 were quite different from the fires in 1 and 2. WTC7 was not doused in jet fuel. Large areas of floors were not ignited simultaneously. The fires were similar to those in several tall buildings where the automatic sprinklers failed. Those other buildings did not collapse, while WTC7 succumbed to its fires.”
Finally, the Executive Summary concludes:
“However, the reader should keep in mind that the building and the records kept within it were destroyed and the remains of all the WTC buildings were disposed of before Congressional action and funding was available for this investigation to begin. As a result, there are some facts that could not be discerned, and thus are uncertainties in this accounting.”
Not mysteries, folks. Just “uncertainties.”