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Re: Research Data on Lateral Design of Residential Structures

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Engineering News Record has published on their website,, a wind speed contour map which they say comes from NOAA and is preliminary.  It doesn't say if the data conforms to the 3 sec gust definitions but it is still quite interesting.  The article goes on to discuss some of the code issues raised.
Please keep us posted as to what you learn.
Jim Hannah
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 4:36 PM
Subject: RFI: Research Data on Lateral Design of Residential Structures

I?m embarking on my quixotic quest to bring some sanity to the topic of design of residential structures in my state. I don?t know if I?ll rise or fall, but I ought to learn a bit on the way.


I know that, so many members of SEAINT being SEAONC and SEAOSC, your concentration is on seismic design, but I also have been told many times that even on the Left Coast wind tends to govern design of residential structures.


As I?ve stated here before?and as the late events in Florida have clearly emphasized?we have the potential for catastrophic wind events here on the Gulf Coast that ought to make every engineer and architect aware of the potential for property loss. But I continue to hear comments (particularly from contractors) that the 110 mph (3-second gust) design wind speed requirement is ?too unrealistic.?


This wouldn?t be that much of an issue except that the home-building industry in Texas has a LOT of clout, and some of these guys do NOT have the best interests of the consumer at heart. Their attitudes reflect in the continued staving-off of building code enforcement over the majority of Texas (essentially anywhere outside of an incorporated city limit) by the legislature, and generally in the fact that what building code requirements there are?essentially the IRC?are prescriptive and can be conveniently interpreted to the advantage of the homebuilder.


To aid me in my quest, I need information that many of you can provide or point to. Specifically, I need information regarding the performance of residential structures in high winds, especially emphasizing engineered vs. non-engineered structures. I need wind-speed data (for example, I have looked in vain for wind speed data along the track of Charley through Florida?lots of ?slammed into Punta Gorda with 145 mph winds? but not much about what the wind vectors were like along its path as a function of time?heck, even a ?maximum 3-second gust? measurement all over the Florida peninsula during the even would be awfully helpful).


I also need to know about any research that has been done into lateral load performance of residential structures, whether seismic or wind.


Lastly, I need some suggestions as to what other ammunition I need to look for.


Any help and advice would be appreciated.