Unless you have undergone a similar situation it is hard to wrap your mind around the effects of a natural disaster. Our prayers go out to those who experience the devastation of Mother Nature’s wrath. While we wish we could go back in time and save those who were taken from us by the recent tornadoes and storms in the south, the unfortunate truth is that we can only look forward. Providing support in the means of funds, food, and physical labor is the best way to help the victims and their families come back from this tragedy.
Personally, the severity of these situations always shocks me. It is upsetting that there are resources available to prevent this level of destruction. One the upside it seems that the world has begun recognizing a need for stronger homes and buildings to shield against this level of destruction. The recent earthquakes in Japan tore down homes and the subsequent tsunami carried cars through the streets and collapsed any structures still standing. The exceptions to this however were the newer Steel Space Framemetal buildings. The strength of the metal buildings is likely the reason why they are being used to rebuild devastated areas like Haiti, which was ravaged by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
It is understandable that in the past with a lack of design options steel buildings people who forgo steel framed buildings for more traditional wooden framed buildings. Fortunately, today there are design and panel options that make it nearly impossible to tell the difference between a steel building and a wooden cabin. Just look at this steel framed structure with wood panels.
The truth of the matter is that no building is 100% guaranteed to withstand the brute force of the strongest hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. However, with the right engineering Steel Space Frame buildings can stand strong against 120+ mph winds. Moreover, steel has a bending strength that other building materials just don’t have. No, this doesn’t mean your building won’t wobble back and forth. What it does mean is that when massive forces come at a steel building-from the top, sides, or even bottom-steel has the give to absorb the force rather than rupturing or cracking. In most conditions a metal building will survive a storm with its frame intact. In the more severe cases steel may bend or twist from tornado force wind. Even if this happens, isn’t it better to be in a building that may be warped but is still standing than one that will likely collapse?
The losses of others should not be overlooked as just another tragedy. Rather, we should learn from them and build with the stronger safer materials that we are lucky enough to have available to us.
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