Building Codes Evolve With High Wind Events

Construction cone flying in wind over water

Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, building codes include more wind design information that comes from disaster investigations and wind engineering research conducted primarily at the university level.

November 14, 2018
William L. Coulbourne - Construction Executive

Designs for wind loads have been in building codes for a long time. Prior to the creation of the International Building Code, the three primary legacy codes had wind load provisions but they mostly dealt with wind loads on the building frame and had little load information about the building components or the exterior cladding.

Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, building codes include more wind design information that comes from disaster investigations and wind engineering research conducted primarily at the university level. In 2000, the legacy building codes were replaced with the International Building Code (IBC). Residential buildings must comply with the International Residential Code (IRC). Both of these building code documents reference the engineering load standard, ASCE 7 Minimum Design Loads and Other Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures. This load standard has also been in existence for a long time; it now is revised every six years and the building codes revised every three years (IBC and IRC) reference ASCE 7 so the provisions in ASCE 7 become part of the building code requirements.

Reprinted courtesy of William L. Coulbourne, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.



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