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How Steel Buildings Resist Wind Damage

Building to Combat Furious Storm Winds

Pre-engineered steel buildings are designed and engineered to stand up to damaging winds and other natural disasters.

(As I post this blog, Hurricane Harvey is creeping toward the Texas coast, gaining strength over the warm waters of the Gulf.  As of this posting, Hurricane Harvey’s winds have reached 110 MPH.)

Which Way the Wind Blows

Palm trees bending in fierce hurricane windsAlthough we typically think of wind damage as resulting from hurricanes battering coastal areas, savage winds can strike anywhere. Hurricane-force winds often extend far inland during major hurricanes. In addition, hurricanes generally spawn inland tornadoes with even greater winds.

The mid-section of the U.S.— known as Tornado Alley— is best known for its fierce tornadoes. However, every state in the U.S. experiences some tornadoes.

Sudden downdrafts, derechos, and even howling straight-line winds occur during violent thunderstorms. Northern areas of the country battle screeching winds during blizzards.

So what is the best way to avoid wind damage?

Building with the Strength of Steel

With the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material, steel reigns supreme as the best defense against destructive winds. However, simply being made of steel does not ensure a building will withstand ferocious winds. The quality of the steel structure also determines its ability to withstand damaging winds.

RHINO steel buildings are designed to stand the tests of time and nature. Our structures meet or exceed all current local building codes, including wind loads, for the lifetime of the structure— guaranteed.

If the customer requests even greater-than-code wind resistance, that’s no problem. RHINO wind resistant construction can be designed for 170 MPH wind loads— or even higher, if desired.

Steel Buildings Provide Stronger Connections

Images compare steel building foundation bolts to wood studs nailed to the foundationThe nails and staples used in wood framing offer little resistance to gale-force winds. Under pressure, these fasteners pull out, allowing the roof to fly off and the walls to topple.

The nails used to secure a typical wood-framed building to the foundation may fail when severe winds blow. Hurricane-force winds could lift the entire structure from the slab and turn it to kindling.

Commercial-grade metal buildings assemble with high-strength bolts, nuts, and screws that provide much greater resistance to winds. In our wind resistant construction, the columns securely attach to the foundation with strong steel j-bolts embedded in the concrete.

Stronger Skin

Not all steel buildings are alike. RHINO’s exterior steel panels provide greater protection from howling winds three ways:

  1. THICKER STEEL: All RHINO metal buildings include heavy-duty 26-gauge steel exterior panels. Many other metal building supply lighter 28-gauge steel— or only offer 26-gauge panels as an “upgrade” at an increased price.
  2. PBR PANELS: The shape of RHINO’s Purlin Bearing Rib (PBR) steel panels provides a greater tensile strength than by design, outperforming the shallow-depth paneling used by other metal building companies.
  3. GREATER OVERLAP: RHINO’s PBR panels allow a greater overlap between each panel than the cheaply made R-panels of many competitors. Greater overlap means stronger protection from devastating winds.

Beefed Up Doors for Extra Protection

Keeping dangerous winds from breaching door openings is critical to a building’s survival during a storm. Wind-rated doors include extra reinforcements to prevent strong winds from crushing doors. Building codes in hurricane-prone areas generally require wind-rated exterior doors. Some customers choose doors with beyond-code wind resistance for additional safety.

RHINO offers a wide selection of attractive wind-rated doors.

Other Ways to Increase Wind Resistance

For more information on designing and locating a safer, more wind-resistant structure, see Hurricane-Resistant Construction, Part 3.

Call RHINO now to speak to one of our friendly steel building specialists and learn more about our wind-resistant steel buildings. Use our knowledge and expertise to create the best structure for your location. You can reach us at 940.383.9566