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Individual Highlight

A residential tornado safe room from commodity wood products

Photo of Assembled Commodity Wood Tornado Safe Room. Assembled Commodity Wood Tornado Safe Room. Snapshot : Forest Service researchers designed a tornado safe room to be constructed from commodity wood building products and adaptable to existing homes.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Falk, Robert H.Bridwell, James, J.
Senalik, Christopher AdamBegel, Marshall
Research Location : Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1280

Summary

In the U.S., tornadoes cause significant damage and result in many injuries and deaths. While the development and use of tornado safe rooms have helped reduce the human toll associated with these events, the cost of these structures is often too high for many that could benefit from their use. Forest Service researchers designed a nonproprietary residential tornado safe room to be constructed from commodity wood building products. The safe room is buildable by a local contractor or a do-it-yourselfer and is adaptable to existing homes. As such, it lowers the cost of these structures and encourages widespread use. The safe room was designed to meet the requirements of the International Code Council Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters (ICC-500, 2014). The safe room resisted the high pressures resulting from a 250 mph wind, withstood the highest speed debris impact tests of 100 mph missile speed, and had a projected material cost of between $3,500 and $4,000. A construction guide for building this safe room is currently being developed in collaboration with Home Innovations and will be available in the near future.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Home Innovations