Commercial Construction & Renovation

MAY-JUN 2017

Commercial Construction & Renovation helps our subscribers design, build and maintain better commercial facilities by delivering content to meet the information needs of today's high-level executives.

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United States, the Tuscaloosa event, along with the tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., a month later, initiated an ongoing review of building standards and closer scrutiny of materials used in new construction. It was determined that while older homes are susceptible to tornado damage, improved building standards can help save many new structures from destruction, and thereby save lives, during future tornado activity. In addition, since 2011, further studies of a tornado's path has indicated that greater damage occurs at the center of a tornado, with far less severe damage being inflicted on structures located near the edge. Even in the event of a rare EF-5 tornado, the greatest damage is limited to a narrow path, and most structures don't experience a tornado's highest wind speeds. All of this is good news since the majority of U.S. tornadoes are EF-2-level storms or lower. Improved building practices for tornado-resilient structures include correct construction for load transfer, along with proper connections between the roof, walls and foundation to create a continuous load path and decrease wind force vulnerability. In addition, strengthening openings such as windows and doors, including garage doors, reduces the potential for pressurization, which can occur inside a building when these openings are compromised by wind damage, resulting in significant damage to – and even total destruction of – a building. Reinforced masonry that is adequately connected to other building components can with- stand high wind loads – and also offers greater protection against wind-blown debris, which can penetrate a building's cladding and leave the structure at greater risk for internal pressurization. Protecting the house According to the Brick Industry Association, testing performed at the Wind Science and Research Center at Texas Tech University concluded that brick structures offer a much higher degree of protection from wind-blown debris than buildings constructed with other forms of cladding. The Jan. 21-23 spate of storms produced 79 confirmed tornadoes across the Deep South, from Texas to South Carolina, resulting in the second-deadliest January outbreak on record. 157 MAY : JUNE 2017 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION

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