News | 7.10.2018

Design Peer Review and Test Support Services for Storm Shelters

The ICC 500 Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters is referenced in the International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) as the presiding standard for the design and construction of storm shelters. The ICC 500 was first published in 2008 and significantly revised in 2014. Two of the most substantial requirements include a stricter peer review process and improved methods to account for interaction between the shelter and the host building as follows:

  • Peer Review – The new ICC 500 (2014) has been revised to increase the level of quality control for the design and construction of storm shelters and requires peer reviews submitted to the corresponding Authority during the permit review process. Storms shelters that require peer review include: Group E occupancy with more than 16 occupants, Storm shelters with more than 50 people and shelters in RC IV structures.
  • Host Building Collapse and Interaction – The revised ICC 500 now clearly requires storm shelters to be designed to resist the loads imposed from collapse of the surrounding building and if the shelter connects to the host building, it must be designed for the maximum capacity load of the connections in combination with all other loads on the building.

Other important changes include special inspection requirements for foundations and post-installed anchors as well as increased level of detail and information on construction documents.

Peer Review Storm Damage

Figure 1 Storm Damage Aftermath

PEC engineers are licensed in multiple states and have extensive experience in the analysis and design of buildings and structures to resist extreme loads caused by natural and man-made events. Much of this work specifically involved collapse analysis and ultimate capacity connection design. Our analysis and design capabilities include dynamic and impact loads prediction with tools ranging from simple chart-based and empirical data-fit approaches to advanced computational codes.  Our mechanical and structural analysis capabilities range from simple single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) approaches to high-fidelity physics-based modeling to more accurately capture debris impact dynamics and material damage.

Testing Support – Through our Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) we are able to partner with state-of-the art Air Force testing facilities to support research, development and validation of innovative materials and design configurations to be used in storm shelter applications.

For more information regarding PEC’s storm shelter design, value engineering, and peer review services please contact Aldo McKay, P.E., PMP or Dr. Eric Sammarco, PH.D., P.E., F.SEI

Peer Review SAP2000

Figure 2 Nonlinear Dynamic Collapse Analysis

Peer Review LS-DYNA


Figure 3 High Fidelity Debris Impact Analysis and Design