Wisconsin Researchers Test Affordable Wooden Shelters

By Barry Adams | May 16, 2014

  • May 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm
    Melinda says:
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:54 am
      Destro says:
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      Come on guys, anyone can dig a hole in the ground and stake a tarp over top of it.

    • May 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm
      Libby says:
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      Yeah, if you want a butt-ugly stucco monstosity in your backyard. Or a big hole.

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm
    BILL HARRIS says:
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    Where do we review the plans for this tornado shelter???

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:06 pm
    JoeW says:
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    Are you serious?. Wood structures are not only disassembled by the big winds, the boards are splintered..

  • May 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    JoshS says:
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    Most structures have to be designed for 115 MPH winds. FEMA has guidelines for storm shelters, and for protection against tornadoes, the design wind speed increases to 250 MPH. The forces increase with the square of the wind speed, so this shelter would need to be designed for almost 5x the typical loading for the living structure. There’s a lot more required for structural integrity than just resisting impact energy of a projectile. And, while we’re at it, why don’t we make this test more realistic and throw a COW at it at 100 MPH!

  • May 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm
    bob falk says:
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    JoeW….yes, we are serious. Residential homes are designed to resist snow loads, the weight of occupants, and a moderate amount of wind (typically less than 100mph). So, when a 250 mph wind comes along (albeit rarely and hopefully never), the typical home doesn’t have a chance (and wasn’t designed to…if it was, it would have to be super beefy and as a result no one could afford one)…a safe room, on the other hand, is designed to withstand the tornado winds, and YES, a wood safe room can work, and the design that I have come up with meets the standard test criteria established for safe room testing….wood is a very versatile and resilient material.

    Bill Harris…..We hope to have standard plans available in the next couple of years. More testing needed to refine our design…

    Thanks for the comments!

    Cheers, bob

    • May 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm
      Libby says:
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      Oh, snap!

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:55 am
    David says:
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    How big is this shelter and did you ever consider making it with interlocking solid wood walls also know as logs? We just made a 9′ x9′ building with a 5″ solid wood wall that would surely withstand Mr. Falk’s air cannon experiment.



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