06/21/2007

NIST WTC Recommendations Spur New Model Building Codes

 

Safer buildings - especially tall structures - that are more resistant to fire and more easily evacuated in emergencies are the goal of the first comprehensive set of building code changes recently approved by the Intl. Code Council (ICC), based on recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The recommendations were the result of the findings of NIST's 3-year investigation of the collapses of New York City's World Trade Center (WTC) towers on 9/11.

The changes will be incorporated into the 2007 supplement to the ICC's Intl. Building Code (IBC), a model code used as the basis for building regulations promulgated and enforced by U.S. state and local jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions have the option of incorporating some or all of the code's provisions, but generally adopt most provisions.

"We fully endorse these code changes and are gratified that NIST's WTC recommendations have stimulated fundamental and substantial changes in U.S. building codes and standards that represent a significant improvement in public safety over current practice," says Shyam Sunder, lead WTC investigator for NIST. "NIST is committed to continuing our work to support industry and the nation's building and fire safety officials so that the remaining recommendations also are fully considered."

The model code changes address such areas as the fire resistance of structural components, the use of sprayed fire-resistive materials (commonly known as "fireproofing"), elevators for use by first responders, the number of stairwells, and exit-path markings.

Two more model code changes will be considered for the next edition of the IBC in 2009. In the first case, a broad industry coalition is developing a proposal that would recommend structures be designed to mitigate disproportionate progressive collapse and ensure, for the first time, minimum structural integrity and robustness requirements for structures as complete systems. The second proposed code change would require the use of a nationally accepted standard for conducting wind tunnel tests routinely used for determining wind loads in the design of tall buildings. During its investigation of the collapses of the WTC towers, NIST found that wind load estimates from three separate wind tunnel tests on WTC models differed greatly.

For more information, including a Web-based system for tracking the progress toward implementing all of the NIST WTC recommendations, go to (http://wtc.nist.gov/).

This information was reprinted from the June 21, 2007 edition of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's TechBeat e-newsletter. For more information about the Gaithersburg, MD-based NIST, visit (http://www.nist.gov/).

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
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