Escalating demand for high-wind-resistant homes has more builders looking for resources on robust-construction practices. While industries with competing
Escalating demand for high-wind-resistant homes has more builders looking for resources on robust-construction practices. While industries with competing methods or systems are trying to develop guidelines for wind resistance, Portland Cement Association contends, builders who choose concrete need to look no further than the current International Residential Code (IRC) for information. Builders don’t need to wait for special user-friendly guides or to obtain additional manuals for high-wind-resistant concrete construction, says PCA Director of Codes and Standards Steve Szoke. The prescriptive requirements for many concrete homes are already in IRC.
In the 2006 IRC, prescriptive provisions for light-framed (wood or steel) construction apply to hurricane-prone regions where the basic wind speeds are less than 100 mph or 110 mph. In order to design buildings of light-framed construction in the higher wind areas beyond the IRC scope, standards referenced in the code are required. However, no special publications or resources are required for one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses constructed with exterior concrete walls Û conventional or insulating form-type Û as long as the homes meet the parameters contained in the IRC, including: two-story maximum height plus basement; 10-ft. maximum unsupported wall height within a story; 60-ft. maximum plan dimension; floor spans 32 feet or less; roof spans 40 feet or less; and, 150-mph maximum wind speed.
Building with concrete, especially in hurricane-prone areas, makes more sense now than ever, says Szoke. With guidelines already in place, builders can save time and money while delivering a high quality home that will last and resist damage from high winds and flooding.