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Texas Windstorm Construction Code/Guide

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I have received some work that has been "farmed out" to me from another
engineer. It concerns verifying some proposed "standard" details from a
well-known garage door manufacturer who wants to have them "certified for
compliance" under the Texas Building Code for Windstorm Resistant
Construction. I have a slight familiarity with this document, but have never
actually used it.

Briefly, compliance with the provisions of the Code is necessary in order to
be eligible to receive coverage provided the Texas Windstorm Insurance
Association, which I believe is a state-funded insurance plan (similar in
concept to the familiar "Flood Hazard Insurance" that I believe FEMA
administers).

In perusing this code, I'm struck by how little it seems to owe to any model
building code with which I'm personally familiar. I think it is probably
based on earlier--much earlier--editions of the Standard Building Code.
Certainly they didn't worry much about the wind loading one would compute
using current methodologies ("three-second gust", etc.) The Code is mainly
"prescriptive," for what it's worth, though it does allow (well, thanks for
the faint praise) design by a licensed Engineer.

I'm not really that concerned about it on the face of it, but I certainly do
NOT want to wade into this thing, then find out that the Windstorm Insurance
provisions are not as conservative as what I would compute under SBC, for
example.

Before I spend a lot of time doing research, I was wondering if any of you
Texicans out there are familiar with the Texas Windstorm code, and what you
think of it, AND how it compares to design for model building code
compliance.

FWIW, it looks as though they had about 11 members on the Code committee,
and only ONE of them was an engineer; the rest were either from the
Insurance or the Construction industries. That alone makes me rather
nervous. How does that practice compare with the structural committees of
the model building codes?

Thanks in advance for any input you might have.

William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203



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