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Tornado in Garland, TX

Tornado in Garland, TX

Tornado in Garland, TX

I've done a lot of work in Texas, and I was always surprised on the lack of code enforcement there. Maybe some of the local engineers can correct me, but as an example, when I mentioned Special Inspection, I was looked at like a three headed alien. Plan reviews were non existent.
Anyway, mother nature gets her way.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

Remember this is Texas, where they allow fertilizer plants, which are never inspected, next to nursing homes and elementary schools.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

wow. that's a clean break.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

Just push it back up and fasten it together, it'll be fine.

Professional and Structural Engineer (ME, NH)
American Concrete Industries

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

My reaction to the pictures is that that form of construction is an untended form of safety factor or "safety valve". Let's suppose the wall was sell secured to the foundation. Then maybe the roof would blow off instead.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

Building codes are like taxes, they have a purpose, but make things more costly with little visual value to the consumer.

Maybe a little corruption with the building codes, but then again in most locations the code is written somewhere else, and just adopted without review.

The storms are bad in any location, which is why I don't understand why earth sheltered homes never took off (but that's an engineer thinking). What seems to be most important in the public area, is visual, and price.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

This quote from an online source summed up my thoughts...


The principal downsides to earth-sheltered houses are the initial cost of construction, which can be up to 20% more than a conventional house, and the increased level of care required to avoid moisture problems, both during construction and over the life of the house.

Home in areas with water tables near the surface would require above-ground (berm) designs only... Florida, for example, would suddenly become a series of mini hills.

Dan - Owner

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

I'm not sure about Garland, but I heard is that in some places (over the last week to week and a half) people had 5 min. warnings and people still died.

You just can't fix everything, least you have total government control, and that's not assured given codes not being followed.

If you look at Disney World, it was built up so the streets are on the second floor.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

We had several minutes warning - computer, TV, sirens. Some of the people that died were in cars, not houses, not sure what their options were. I was about 3.5 miles from the tornado, just had a thunder storm with rain here, no train sounds or anything weird.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

Winds generated by a tornado are beyond code.
Blame consumers wanting low prices, quality cost $$$.
During new construction hire an engineer to conduct on site inspections for foundation and framing...

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

just an fyi... the link has changed. it had some good photos i wanted to show some coworkers... now there is a video.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

I agree that we can't design for a direct hit by a tornado, but we can limit the damage path.
Consumers want the lowest price, but there is a government role in assuring that minimum standards are met. It might not serve anyone in the short run, but the government is expected to put out the fires and provide disaster relief. So they need a say in the construction requirements.
There are countries without any building codes. If you scroll down this forum, you can see the results.
Not attaching walls to the slab is not excusable.

RE: Tornado in Garland, TX

Some communities require tornado shelters be installed at every mobile home park. But they never went as far as installing public tornado shelters. They likely would become homeless shelters.

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