In a past piece, we covered which places make for the best tornado shelters in a residential or commercial structure. Still, wouldn’t it be nice if your structure was naturally resistant against storm conditions? In this piece, let’s look at a few construction practices and materials to give your construction project a better shot against a tornado or other severe weather conditions.

The Use of Insulated Concrete

Many residents and business owners in storm-prone areas, such as on the coasts or in the Midwest, are using insulated concrete more and more in their construction. Insulated concrete blocks are known for their extreme rigidity in the face of storm-force winds — being able to withstand wind speeds of over 200 mph. In addition to holding up well against severe weather conditions, insulated concrete block construction is also tremendously energy efficient — helping to reduce the amount of energy used to heat or cool a space.

Protect Your Roof Against Severe Weather

One of the most damaged parts of any structure during a bout of severe weather is your roof. High winds can rip shingles away. Strong hail can pulverize roofs of all kinds. When shopping for roofs for a new or existing structure, pay close attention to the “impact resistance” rating of the roofing material. The highest possible rating is a “Class IV” impact resistance rating. Also, it pays to read the details of any warranty or insurance information. Make sure to choose a trusted brand that stands by the quality of their product with consumer-backed testimonials and reviews.

The Value of Continuous Load Path Structures

You may have seen images on television or in newspapers of neighborhoods completely devastated by a tornado or a hurricane. It may be odd to see some homes or buildings completely flattened while others seem almost untouched. While the unpredictability of tornadic behavior can explain this phenomenon, another explanation is the design of the structures in question. The structures that are more resilient against high winds or flying debris will likely have what is called a “continuous load path.” This means is that the design of the structure seeks to eliminate one section from bearing the full weight of another section. In a structure with a continuous load path, the building is constructed with multiple connecting points that all can bear a load in various directions. One load-bearing wall being blown over will not compromise the entire structure. All of the parts work together to keep a structure from collapsing, being blown over, or even falling “upwards” by having their roofs pulled upwards by weather circulations. Some very clear examples of structures with a continuous load path would be round or dome-like beach-front properly. Not only do these structures do a better job of deflecting high winds, but their self-supporting frame reduces the need for walls to bear the weight of the roof or a lack single load-bearing walls from supporting an uneven amount of the weight of the structure.  

Want to Weather The Storm? Ask Your Construction Professional

In order to ensure your home or business will have better odds against tornadic conditions or other severe weather, ask your Oklahoma construction company about how to incorporate weather-resistant practices and materials into the design of your structure.