Making the case for improved structural design : tornado outbreaks of 2011

Prevatt, David O., van de Lindt, John W., Back, Edward W., Graettinger, Andrew J., Pei, Shiling, Coulbourne, William, Gupta, Rakesh, James, Darryl, & Agdas, Duzgun (2012) Making the case for improved structural design : tornado outbreaks of 2011. Leadership and Management in Engineering, 12(4), pp. 254-270.

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Abstract

A total of 1,625 tornadoes occurred in the United States in 2011, resulting in economic losses that exceeded $25 billion. Two tornado outbreaks stand out because they caused more than half of those losses. The tornadoes that cut through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27 and Joplin, Missouri, on May 22 were responsible for a combined 223 fatalities and more than 13,000 damaged buildings in the two cities. Although the economic losses associated with tornado damage are well documented, the writers argue that the overall impact should encompass longer term, broader considerations such as the social disruption and psychological effects that impact communities. This paper examines observations by tornado damage assessment teams led by the first author in these two medium-sized cities and suggests that the evolution of building codes and past approaches to construction have led to conditions that made this extent of damage possible. The authors outline a multidisciplinary path forward that incorporates engineering research and social and economic studies into a new design paradigm leading to building code changes and social practices that will improve resistance and mitigate future losses at a community level from tornadoes.

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ID Code: 69813
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)LM.1943-5630.0000192
ISSN: 1943-5630
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Construction Engineering (090502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Structural Engineering (090506)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 17 Apr 2014 03:54
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2014 23:44

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