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    Author(s): Robert H. Falk; James J. BridwellC. Adam SenalikMarshall Begel
    Date: 2018
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-254. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 1-21.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    A tornado safe room is a shelter designed to provide protection during a tornado and is specifically engineered to resist the high wind pressures and debris impact generated by these high wind events. The required performance criteria of these shelters has been established and is found in the International Code Council Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters. A tornado safe room has been developed from commodity wood products and is described in “A Residential Tornado Safe Room from Commodity Wood Products: Design and Development”. In designing this structure, several objectives were pursued: (1) as much as possible, materials available from local building material outlets and online sources should be used, (2) the structure should be buildable by a local contractor or an advanced do-it-yourselfer, (3)retrofitting the structure into an existing home should bepossible, and (4) costs should be kept down by minimizing the useof specialty materials and hardware. Presented here are the resultsof impact and wind pressure testing of the developed wood saferoom design performed according to the requirements of theICC/NSSA-500 standard. Impact testing indicated that the saferoom can resist the most severe impact tests (100-mi/h missilespeed) dictated by ICC/NSSA-500. Also, lateral and uplift loadtesting indicated that the safe room can resist pressures from a250-mi/h wind calculated from wind load design criteria.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Falk, Robert H.; Bridwell, James J.; Senalik, C. Adam; Begel, Marshall. 2018. Residential tornado safe room from commodity wood products – impact and wind pressure testing. General Technical Report. FPL-GTR-254. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 1-21.


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    Impact testing, tornado safe room, wood construction

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