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RE: Questions re: Doors & Windows

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You need 15% of the side of the building to be open to consider it partially enclosed. Yes, the glass window on a steel door can break if it’s hit by some roof tile swirling in the wind. What are the chances that every single window is hit by some flying object to cause 15% of the structure to become open. I would say extremely small. The doors are at ground level, so the winds are lowest here. And yes, the frame is not supposed to blow off from the structure during a code level wind storm.


The argument originally made was that the building doors would always be open because they work around the clock, therefore the building is partially enclosed. Again, if the wind is blowing at 70mph (a very low wind zone, but just as an example) – No one is going to be driving on the road let alone trying to work or drive a semi-truck.




-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Getaz [mailto:jgetaz(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2005 5:14 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Questions re: Doors & Windows


            Gerard Madden wrote, “What do you do for a building with a curtain wall system? Designed the whole structure as partially enclosed in case the curtain fails?


Seems way too conservative to me.”


            Steve Gordin wrote: “Would you still assume your nominal (say, 70 mph) wind speed in this situation? In many cases we are designing for a pretty high (code vs reality) wind...”


            Now I know why all my buildings (low-rise) are partially enclosed and I have such large loads. I design as though all those holes in the concrete walls that we put up are taken out in the design windstorm.


            Even steel doors have windows, and they are installed with connections that are a lot flimsier-looking than how we tie our building together.


            And with the opposite occurring: the door withstanding the winds: as the EOR, do you all insist that each door (and window) have a frame that carries the wind loads back to the structure?


            Jim Getaz

            Precast Concrete Engineer