Page 101 - Security Today, September/October 2021
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wind load requirements and are certified by a third party as being compliant to ICC500 standards as part of a storm shelter project, schools are able to design unique, open, light-filled spaces while meeting IBC requirements and ensuring they are compliant with International Code Council (ICC) 500.
Considering the codes are guidelines that echo the minimum requirements for safety, understanding what wind load is —and why it is important in storm shelters— should be a cornerstone of one’s knowledge on the topic.
Wind load refers to any pressure or force that wind exerts on a build- ing. There are three types of wind forces, including uplift, shear and lat- eral wind load. These are all common in a tornado, hurricane, or strong storm with straight-line winds. Shear wind load is a horizontal pressure on vertical structural elements. This kind of pressure is especially con- cerning because it can change wildly based on weather conditions.
Extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunder- storms with straight-line winds put acute forces on a building. This can cause doors to blow out due to the storm’s wild swings in positive and negative pressure.
That is why rolling door and shutter products are tested, for both static and operable wind load. Static wind load specifies the maximum wind load at which a door is able to remain safely in place while closed. Operable wind load specifies the maximum wind load at which a door is able safely operate without the curtain of the door being hung up in the guides and stuck in an open position. Operable wind load may be a concern for schools that serve as community shelters during hurri- canes. For instance, loading dock-rolling doors may need to operate during the storm to accept emergency supplies and necessities.
Calculating wind loads and determining which product works best can be a tricky science, especially because the calculation not only includes wind speed, but also 10 other factors for accuracy and safety.
It is vital for decision makers to reach out to rolling door manufac-
turers to learn more about wind load requirements, wind load calcu- lations, and rolling door options. Manufacturers’ architectural spe- cialists and consultants use a Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) calculator to identify comprehensive wind load needs and create custom closure solutions. They also work closely with school safety administrators and specifiers to ensure they are making the best decision when it comes to student, faculty and administration safety.
At The Intersection of Safety and Design
With the implementation of these stringently tested rolling doors, architects can include windows and natural light in their design of modular classroom pods, gymnasiums, and cafeterias—creating pos- itive, learning-focused spaces that can also transform into ICC-500/ FEMA P-361 rated safe rooms when needed. A single maximum protection-rolling door can be used to cover multiple openings or even banks of windows, and activated by a building alarm or the turn of a key.
The rolling door can deploy on alarm with no manual interven- tion, allowing faculty and staff to focus on the safety of the students, while also preventing them from witnessing the storm and—most importantly—protecting them from violent winds and flying debris. After the storm, the door coils back into the structure and out of sight until it needed again.
Proper planning enables school districts to obtain funding and gain valuable insight into the standards and codes needed to meet life-saving storm shelters and safe rooms. By selecting the appropriate rolling doors and working closely with their manufacturers, archi- tects can design dual-use areas that provide inspiration for students and protect them from extreme weather when the need arises.
Heather Bender is the strategic marketing manager at CornellCookson.
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