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Re: Designing "Window Walls" per the 2003 IRC

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What I've tried to point out to folks who have asked me about it is that Katrina was a predicted, code-level event for the coast. On checking ASCE 7-(02), I noted that the entire coast from west of New Orleans to the west edge of the Florida panhandle was in a 150mph contour.  I believe I heard that winds in NO proper were "only" 110mph, but haven't seen any hard data.  Add amplification due to exposure (C or D, I suspect, for many places) and a properly designed structure should have sustained minimal damage, aside from cosmetic.

I wouldn't have been caught dead in the superdome.  Any structure that is that large is likely to have been analyzed down to three or four significant digits, with every load reduction available taken just to make the calcs work.  Too close to the envelope for me with a bigger-then-code event knocking at the door (winds were clocked at 175MPH when Katrina was in the Gulf of Mexico).  I say everyone was lucky that the storm lost force quickly as it hit land.

As for the comment about county planners going - I talked to one this morning about it (VT is in my backyard) and he didn't think that they would have the funds to send both inspectors, even if they could put it in the schedule.  I did forward it to several builders I know who do higher end homes. Whether I work on them or not, I want to see stuff built to be safe.

Jnapd(--nospam--at) wrote:
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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