Storm Shelter Design Guidance for K-12 Schools
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports an average of 1,000 tornadoes per year in the United States, mostly in the Great Plains, which is far more than anywhere else on the planet. These weather events bring high winds and rains and are difficult to predict, leading many institutions to construct storm shelters and other safe rooms to protect their inhabitants.
In recent years, the International Building Code (IBC) has mandated that all new construction for K-12 schools in most of the Midwest and South Central United States include a community storm shelter. It is important for community officials and project team members to understand these requirements and follow best practices for designing these critical structures.