The construction industry should always prioritize the safety and well-being of its future occupants. Building codes offer well-rounded guidelines for improving these structures’ security. As climate change progresses, you must adopt policy additions like tornado-resistant advice to prepare for natural disasters. 


Mitigating Climate Change With Building Codes

Climate change has made the weather more unpredictable than ever. About 20 percent of supercell thunderstorms create tornadoes, so stay on high alert. These natural disasters can harm future homeowners, office workers and others if your building isn’t designed to cope. They also waste multiple resources, which contributes to further global warming. 

Follow newer building codes to mitigate the future events that can affect life on Earth. One Villanova University professor and meteorologist admits there’s more than climate change influencing recent tornado events. “I always call it a two-headed monster or a dragon, where the climate change is one of the threats,” he says. “But on the other side, on the other head of the monster is our society. We are growing at record paces. There's more things in the path of these tornadoes.”


Updates to Know for Construction Projects

There has always been pressure to improve building codes for construction projects. After a long wait, the 2024 International Building Code finally contains provisions on tornado loadings and how to secure structures when erected. 

The shift first sparked when Marc Levitan and Long Phan led the National Institute of Standards and Technology investigation into the EF5 tornado in Missouri in 2011. A floor in a hospital complex survived the magnitude of the disaster because it had an impact–resistant exterior. 

Builders and engineers have always viewed tornado-resistant designs as too expensive. However, all construction professionals should recognize the dangers of such disasters and the importance of saving lives with safer buildings. 


Here are three updates you need to be aware of:

Tornado Load Assessments

Buildings and structures classified under Risk Category III or IV must proceed with construction considering tornado loads. They must be created in accordance with Chapter 32 of the American Society of Civil Engineers 7. States in tornado-prone areas are also advised to follow suit. 

Roof Covering Configurations

The 2024 IBC covers various assets related to a building’s roofing. As stated in ASCE 7, the roof deck should be able to withstand high wind and tornado pressures. Any asphalt shingles added over the deck should meet wind-resistance requirements in the same document. 

Conveying Systems

Elevators, escalators and most conveying systems are sensitive to high wind pressure. Fixtures exposed to outdoor environments should adhere to wind design requirements under ASCE 7. 


Meeting Building Codes

Integrating new building codes will require plenty of preparation and planning. You need to utilize construction technology to improve tornado resistance. For example, digital twins allow professionals to run a virtual simulation of a physical asset or system with real-time data and analytics. This transformative tool is expected to increase at a CAGR of 37.4 percent over the next seven years. 

As much as construction professionals should focus on the end product, natural disasters can also strike in the middle of the project. You have to prepare evacuation policies for crews. Contingency plans like securing equipment with anchors and tie-downs are also important during unexpected weather events. 

Building codes are essential to preserve loss of life and conserve resources in the long run. While they are not legally binding, these guidelines still matter to avoid the perils of tornadoes and other climate change-related disasters. 


Adopt Tornado-Resistant Building Codes

Tornado-resistant building codes should have always been implemented. Now that they are becoming more prominent, construction companies should take notice and improve their structures’ security. Your implementation of these guidelines can influence people’s safety and resource conservation.