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Re: Designing "Window Walls" per the 2003 IRC

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Yesterday on the news, they showed a high rise hotel and it looked like
the entire curtain wall had been ripped off. I doubt that was designed to
some perscriptive code. Yet, all kinds of masonry houses as well just moved
off of their foundations and washed away, those were probably not even prescriptive
code designs. However, if they don't have requirements for residential (i.e.
plans, calcs, plan check, and permits), I'm pretty sure even if some contractor
followed the code, that damage still would have happened. If it was engineered,
the chances would be less, but without inspections and dilligent building
officials, I could very easily see cmu and concrete house washing away as

Reporters were saying "sturdy brick buildings" just washed away etc... Even
the superdome, where they put all those people in, had portions of it's
roof collapse and was probably a stupid idea to gather so many in one place.
Doesn't look like an air supported roof, so maybe they thought it would
have worked out, but I doubt it was designed for 145 mph winds.

"when the levee breaks, got no place to stay"... Led Zeppelin.

Did the levee's really break, or did the water just rise over the top? I
would take it that the levees will all be strengthened and height increased
once they are able to get all that water back in the gulf (that sounds like
it's going to take months). At least with earthquakes, this type/level of
catastrophie only happens once in a while (although unpredicatble)... with
hurricanes, it could happen every year. Being below sea level, really seemed
to be New Orleans biggest danger/achilles heel.

They showed an elevated bridge freeway thing (kinda like schwarzenneger's
alternate design for the bay bridge) with each span knocked off the bents/piers
like dominos. All kinds of riverboat casino things just destroyed. 

Really sad events. It will take some time to get the place back to what
it once was. I'm sure mardi gras will be cancelled as well this feb. Hopefully,
the loss of life will be minimal, but with the conditions being what they
are, I'm sure the toll will be very high and disease outbreaks will be very
common. The economic impact will be felt for years, with so many homes and
businesses simply gone.


>-- Original Message --
>From: Jnapd(--nospam--at)
>Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 13:44:04 EDT
>Subject: Re: Designing "Window Walls" per the 2003 IRC
>To: seaint(--nospam--at)
>Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
>The real sad thing about this is if you design to the prescriptive  
>requirements of the CBC or  2003 IRC you get the damage as we have  seen
>in Mississippi 
>and along the Gulf Coast.
>Joe  Venuti
>Johnson & Nielsen Associates
>Palm Springs,  CA

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