Mayor Glenn Lewis steps forward in the shadow of a devastating F5 tornado to improve Moore’s building code. Hi Tech Building Systems salutes Mayor Glenn Lewis.
Robert Tomczak, President of Hi-Tech Building Systems salutes Mayor Glenn Lewis and the many volunteers helping to rebuild Moore Stronger. While still recovering from the devastating tornado that destroyed the city in May 2013, Glenn Lewis, mayor of Moore, Oklahoma says he will propose an ordinance to modify building codes and require reinforced safe room shelters be constructed in every new home in the town of 56,000. Lewis feels confident he’ll get the necessary votes to pass the modified ordinance and make it a standard protocol within months.
The National Weather Service rated the 2013 tornado, an EF5, based on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The tornado measured 1.3 miles wide and followed the same path of a previous tornado in May 1999. The winds in the even-more-powerful 1999 storm measured 300mph. According to weather analysts, winds that exceed 200mph mean you need to be underground because there will be nothing left above ground. The 2013 tornado was the fourth to hit Moore since 1998.
With advanced warning, storm shelters and reinforced safe rooms save lives but tornados prove to be less than predictable and advanced warning is not always available. When advanced warning is available, the tornado sirens are limited by range. Many Oklahoma residents live outside the audible range of a siren. If the siren is in range but weak, it may not be enough to awaken people in those areas. For people with mobility issues a warning siren may not be helpful at all. Tornado resistant building materials provide a safe option.
Wood frame construction has always been the affordable choice but wood is no longer the only affordable choice. ThermaSteel SSIPs (steel structural insulated panels) are used in commercial building construction and in residential construction. ThermaSteel provides superior strength and durability with a cost comparable to wood frame construction. Build times with SSIPs are also faster than wood frame.
Robert Tomczak comments: “Homes constructed of ThermaSteel structural steel insulated panels have endured tornadoes, fires and hurricanes. Rebuilding is the ideal time to consider disaster-tested materials.”
Florida is well known for hurricanes and extreme weather and as a result Miami-Dade has the most stringent building requirements in the country. The Miami-Dade building requirements are designed to provide protection in extreme conditions. ThermaSteel hurricane panels are approved by Miami Dade; whether in Florida or in Oklahoma, they can be used to build above ground safe rooms, as well as entire buildings or homes.
The severity in wind damage during a hurricane and a tornado can be similar. Since the city of Moore is certainly no stranger to extreme weather, an adoption of similarly stringent building codes may be in the future for the municipality. Buildings and people are harmed not only by structural failings, but also by wooden debris acting as projectiles. ThermaSteel hurricane panels not only hold up to the threat of winds, but also are a composite material, eliminating the threat of broken down pieces flying through the air at frightening speeds.
In addition to extensive testing and certification, the strength and integrity of ThermaSteel has been demonstrated through years in the field. ThermaSteel is EnergyStar compliant and approved for use in all climate conditions. ThermaSteel has achieved the highest seismic rating available from the state of California and easily passed the rigorous Miami-Dade County protocols. ThermaSteel SSIPs have handled wind loads in excess of 200 mph.
ThermaSteel SSIPs are constructed of structural grade steel and rigid expanded polystyrene (EPS). The SSIP is impervious to water and rain damage. Unlike wood the integrated Steel SIP system doesn’t allow strong winds to grab hold of any element to loosen it and open up the housing envelope. ThermaSteel SSIPs are extremely strong and safer than wood in event of fire. EPS is not an inherently a flame propagating material and when exposed to flame, the SSIP produces far less off-gassing than treated lumber.
The ThermaSteel SSIP is a time tested, hi performance building material six times stronger than wood and designed to handle extreme weather. ThermaSteel also provides protection against the problems associated with traditional wood construction including mold, mildew, off-gassing and insects. The SSIP building system provides superior safety, durability, and value. Buildings built with ThermaSteel SSIPs also have lower energy and maintenance costs than traditional wood frame homes. Homes built with ThermaSteel are built for generations, not just decades.
Robert Tomczak added “We salute Mayor Glenn Lewis and the many volunteers helping Moore to move forward in the shadow of the F5.