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Dual-Objective-Based Tornado Design Philosophy Public Deposited

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  • Tornadoes represent a unique natural hazard because of the very low probability of occurrence, short warning times (on the order of only a few minutes), and the intense and destructive forces imposed on engineered and nonengineered buildings. The very low-probability/very high-consequence nature of a tornado strike makes designing for survival and reducing damage under typical financial constraints a substantial challenge. On April 27, 2011, an enhanced Fujita (EF) 4 (EF4) tornado devastated an almost 10-km (5.9-mi) long, 0.8-km-wide (1/2-mi-wide) path, through the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and continued on the ground for 130 km (80 mi). This paper presents the design concept that resulted following a week-long data reconnaissance deployment throughout the city of Tuscaloosa by the authors. The dual-objective philosophy proposed herein is intended to focus on both building damage and loss reduction in low-to-moderate tornado wind speeds and building occupant life safety in more damaging wind-speed events such as EF4 and EF5 tornadoes. The philosophy articulates a design methodology that is the basis upon which structural engineering was formed—namely, provide life safety and control damage—but the new philosophy is focused at separate tornado intensity levels.
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  • van de Lindt, John W.;Pei, Shiling;Dao, Thang;Graettinger, Andrew;Prevatt, David O.;Gupta, Rakesh;Coulbourne, William; 2013. Dual-Objective-Based Tornado Design Philosophy. Journal of Structural Engineering 139 (2)
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  • 139
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  • 2
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