Major New Building
Standard Can Map Out Tornado Threat for the First Time
Of the natural hazards in Mother Nature’s arsenal, tornadoes
are some of the most vicious. But while other hazards are regularly
considered in building designs, tornadoes have not been part of the
equation for most structures in the United States, even in highly
tornado-prone regions. Now, an upcoming edition of a critical building
standard gives tornadoes some much needed attention.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has released a
draft version of the 2022 edition of ASCE 7 for public feedback ahead of
its final publication in December. This building standard helps engineers
determine the loads (or forces) their building should be able to withstand,
whether from a hurricane, earthquake, flood or snow. With the new edition,
tornadoes may soon join that list, thanks to research spearheaded by the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
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