Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sustainably Designing for Acts of God

Yup, they thought about that too... Resources are available to aid the Structural Engineer in improving disaster resilience for building structures in flood plains, coastal regions, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, and wildfires.

Flood plains

For flood damage resistance, structural components should comply with ASCE/SEI 24 as well as state building codes.

Coastal regions

Foundations located in FEMA Coastal Zone A should be designed to the same criteria as those located in FEMA Coastal Zone V. Levees and flood walls should not be considered flood protection when renovating or designing new buildings for resistance to flood damage. Additional recommendations include compliance with Appendix G of the International Building Code – Flood Resistant Construction.

Hurricane, tornado, and other high wind regions

For wind-damage resistance in general, buildings should be designed for an increase in basic design wind speed by 20 mph. Roof coverings, their attachments, and gutter attachments should comply with UL and FM standards.

In addition, if located in hurricane- or tornado-prone areas, use of exterior cladding that is susceptible to wind damage should be limited. Storm shelters should be provided for all building occupants when design wind speed is 160 mph or greater (in hurricane- and tornado-prone areas). Storm shelters should be designed according to ICC 500 – Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters.

If located in hurricane-prone areas, also use the above recommendations for buildings in flood plains and coastal regions.

Regions susceptible to hail

For hail damage resistance, if located in moderate-to-severe hail exposure areas, use of exterior cladding that is susceptible to hail damage should be limited.

Regions susceptible to wildland fires

For wildfire damage resistance, buildings should meet the requirements of the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code.

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