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RE: Lateral Load--Is it THE Design?

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hello Bill,

i do feel we need to consider the wind forces in coastal zone we need to be very careful. The purlin need to be designed for wind forces. For corner zone, we should be very careful in designing.I did the project in hurricane zone at florida, where bcoz of wind speed, my design went to R & D dept. So i agree with you commenmts.


From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Lateral Load--Is it THE Design?
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 08:43:51 -0500


Is it just me, or is everyone here pretty much resigned to the fact that
lateral loads dicate maybe 80% of our efforts?

Of course I know those of you on the Left Coast who do commercial &
facilities design know this because of seismic, but even those doing
residential there admit that wind loads tend to govern their designs, and
they still spend the greater portion of their efforts in this.

This comes to mind because in talking with typical clients, they just don't
seem to "get it." They say "why are these roof purlins so big? There's not
that much load on them!" and I have to tell them about design for wind. They
say "but it doesn't get that windy here!"

Now, how silly a comment is that? Ask the folks in Gulf Shores, AL, just how
"windy" it got last night! When I say to them that we have to design for
hurricanes, they act like I'm just being outrageously conservative.

I have begun telling them that lateral loads account for the majority of
building structural failures (I'm flying by the seat of my pants here; I
have no way of knowing if this but every time I see photos of devastation
it's hurricane or earthquake).

Anyway, just thought I'd solicit some comments on this topic.

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