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INSTALLATION FEATURE STORM-RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION


In Punta Gorda, Fla., Hurricane Charley’s destructive winds tore roofs from buildings and stripped metal panels from exterior walls. But because its metal roofi ng system was designed with a structural design load of 138 mph for wind, the Sallie Jones Elementary School (green center building) survived intact. (Photo courtesy of Englert Inc.)


By Mark R By Mark Robins, Senior Editoror


A Shelter from the Storm


H er e ’ s how metal helps bui ldings we ather s torm s


Hurricanes, thunderstorms, blizzards and tornadoes have been in the news a lot over the past decade. In many dif- ferent ways their harmful effects can damage or destroy buildings, includ- ing metal buildings. However, with proper design and storm-resistant construction, the damage to buildings by Mother Nature’s tantrums can be greatly reduced.


A complete structural load path Extreme winds can cause buildings to tilt, and even slide off or completely fl ip off their foundation. Ac- cording to the Uniform Building Code/1997 Section 1615—General, “Every building or structure and every portion thereof shall be designed and con-


40 METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS May 2013


structed to resist wind effects.” According to the 2009 International Building Code Section 1604.4, “Any system or method of construction to be used shall be based on a rational analysis in accordance with well-established principles of mechanics. Such analysis shall result in a system that provides a com- plete load path capable of transferring loads from their point of origin to the load-resisting elements.” What exactly is a complete structural load path


and how does it apply to storm-resistant construc- tion? According to the International Building Code, there are two types of load paths: vertical and lateral. The forces must be physically transferred from the point of origin through the various struc- tural elements to the foundation and fi nally to the supporting soil below. The vertical load path includes beams, joists,


girders, trusses, posts, columns, walls, foundation elements and the soil that supports the structure. The lateral load path includes diaphragms, walls, bracing, moment frames, boundary elements, re- taining walls, foundation systems and the soil that supports the structure. To ensure complete load path continuity, the connections of the above struc- tural members should be adequately designed and fastened together by direct mechanical attachment or anchorage. Line up metal bracing and tie-downs at critical load points to maintain the integrity of the load path. Use light-gauge steel straps to anchor the building’s fi rst story to its foundation.


Design and strength The devices that reinforce a building’s framing connections include tie-downs, embedded connec-


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