ARTICLE

Is your Storm Shelter really a Storm Shelter?

Does your facility have a designated area that’s labeled a storm shelter? Do you know if it’s been designed and constructed in a way that it can actually be called a storm shelter?

Storm Shelter Building Codes

Building codes are finally beginning to address design requirements for storm (and tornado) shelters. Designers and engineers now have some guidelines they can follow to determine what buildings need to have storm shelters included within them, and how to design and construct those shelter areas to protect occupants.

The 2015 International Building Code requires some new buildings in certain areas of the country to be designed with a storm shelter constructed in accordance with ICC 500, Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters. If a space in your facility is not specifically designed to be a storm shelter in accordance with ICC 500, you should avoid labeling it that way. The space should instead be called a best area of refuge to reduce your risk of liability.

Critical emergency operations such as 911 call centers, fire, rescue, ambulance, and police must have storm shelters built into them. PreK-12 schools with an occupant load of more than 50 must have a storm shelter of sufficient size to house all occupants designed in accordance with the current code.

Not all design aspects have been clearly defined by the current codes, but we have much more information now than we ever have.

Not All Storm Shelters Are Created Equal

One of the biggest dangers during a tornado is falling debris. The roof can be lifted off its supports and the supports, which were braced by the roof, can fall down on the occupants inside. Shortly after, the roof follows.

To ensure occupants are safe, it’s important to know what your facility is equipped with. Origin Design’s building designers and engineers can help determine if you have a storm shelter or a best area of refuge, whether or not your new building should have a storm shelter built into it, and design that shelter in accordance with the latest codes.

WORKING ON TOMORROW
CONTACT US

Do you have questions related to your storm shelter, or are you looking to build one?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Ray, PE is a Structural Engineer and Vice President at Origin Design. She also serves as Team Leader of the Field Services Team. Her experience includes designing and managing transportation, industrial, healthcare, and general architectural building projects.

Follow our journey.

Last Friday, our staff attended the Grand Opening of the Bee Branch Pedestrian Tunnels in Dubuque, IA. The project has made such an impact on the Dubuque community—we're so grateful to have been a part of it! Check out more photos & learn more about the project here.

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #transformationstartshere

Happy International Women in Engineering Day! We're so lucky to have this group of women engineers on our #origincrew! If you've been lucky enough to work with them on a project, you know just how talented they are!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #womenengineers #INWED

Andrew Busch, AIA, and Chris Becklin, PE, recently graduated from the ACEC Wisconsin Leadership Institute. ACEC, American Council of Engineering Companies, of Wisconsin annually offers the Leadership Institute. Congrats, Andrew & Chris! We're lucky to have you on our #origincrew!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #professionaldevelopment

Anthony Hartman recently joined Origin Design as a Design Technician. We're excited to have you on our #origincrew, Anthony! Welcome to Origin Design!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #yourfuturestartshere

Dylan Kramer is celebrating 5 years at Origin Design! Congrats, Dylan. We're lucky to have you on our Land Survey Team & can't wait to see what you'll accomplish in the next 5!

#workingontomorrow #origindesign #milestone #itstartshere #landsurvey #origincrew

Come join our #origincrew! We're looking for an experienced Business Development professional based out of our Quad Cities Office. Learn more & apply here.

#origindesign #hiring #quadcitiesjobs #yourfuturestartshere

Are you looking to kick start your career in the A/E industry? Or are you looking for a change of pace? We're hiring for multiple positions & we want you to join our #origincrew. Check out our careers page & apply now!

#origindesign #hiring #workingontomorrow #yourfuturestartshere

Today's the Day! Stop by Booth 37 to chat with Nate Miller & Noah Hofrichter to learn about what we can do for you! We hope to see you there!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #wchasummerroadschool

#tbt Tim Tranel is celebrating 30 years at Origin Design! Tim has been with Origin (formerly IIW) for his entire career. Check out these throwback photos & join us in wishing him a Happy Anniversary!

#origindesign #40yearanniversary #1982to2022 #followourjourney

Join us June 6th through 8th at Chula Vista Resort for the Wisconsin County Highway Association Summer Highway Conference! Nate Miller & Noah Hofrichter will be at Booth 37. Stop by & learn more about what we can do for you!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #WCHASummerRoadSchool

Welcome to Origin Design, Miles! Miles Carper recently joined Origin as a Field Services Construction Assistant through our summer/fall Co-op Program. We're excited to have you on our #origincrew Miles!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #yourfuturestartshere #newhire

Andrew Koetz is celebrating 5 years at Origin Design. Congrats Andrew & thanks for everything you do! Here's to the next 5 years!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #milestoneanniversary

See all posts