Detailing Steel Roof Decks to Control Damage from Wind-Borne Debris Impact

Brandon E. Ross, Robert O. Roper, Sez Atamturktur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Structurally hardened safe rooms are a proven strategy for enhancing life safety during tornadoes and other severe wind events. Performance criteria for safe rooms include resistance to both wind pressure and impact from wind-borne debris. This paper presents the results of a test program evaluating debris impact resistance of light-gauge steel decking for use as roof cladding on safe rooms. Particular attention is given to the modes of damage caused by debris impact and strategies for controlling and mitigating such damage. Recommendations are provided for detailing lap joints and bearing connections and for selecting appropriate support spacing. This information will aid design engineers in detailing light-gauge steel roof decks for use in tornado safe rooms. Recommendations provided in this paper are also applicable to other scenarios where steel roof decks are at risk of wind-borne debris impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04015010
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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