Safe engineering your home for wind speed resistance
At Hensley Park Homes we build a lot of homes in the country, typically where there are higher wind speeds.
We always take into consideration a variety of factors, including real, actual wind speeds to engineer the safest homes for our customers.
Still, some people might say, “Oh, we’re in a valley and the winds can get quite strong at times. How do I know that my home can handle strong winds it might encounter?”
Well, we decided to show you exactly how.
It starts with a “tie down”
First thing that one of our engineer’s will do is calculate what’s needed for a “tie down.” This is a specific calculation for how strongly the house ties down into the ground, how strongly the wall frames tie into the floor, or the roofing structure to the wall frames, the strength of your home’s footings, and so on.
One important factor the engineer considers in the process are various wind speeds in the area. Depending on what speeds the wind can reach, there can be uplift and all sorts of pressures which are then exerted against the house.
And then there are various wind speed categories to consider, which also vary geographically. In hurricane country, for example, and cyclone territory near the top of Australia, the wind speeds in those areas are going to be higher. But in Victoria and Southern Australia, however, wind speeds aren’t as high. But they’re still high enough that particular considerations and calculations need to be made.
So, how do we make sure your house is safe?
The short answer is this: we make sure that your home is not only okay for the wind speeds in that area, but will be more than okay. Which means that they’re fully engineered to be capable of handling wind speeds higher than what you typically find in that area. No problems at all.
Now, if you’re interested in the safety details, here’s the technical side.
Wind Speed Categories
So what’s our technical strategy for homes withstanding different wind speeds? Let’s go back to the example of Victoria.
In Victoria, there are two categories of wind speeds. One is called “N-2,” and that’s designed for towns and cities where there’s typically shelter and buildings that because they’re gathered close together, lowering overall wind speed in the area.
Our engineer’s wind speed calculation for N-2, or “in town” areas, is rated up to 119 kilometers per hour. That means those homes are built, designed and engineered to handle winds up 119 kph.
N-3, on the other hand, is for rural environments, and covers winds up to 147 kilometers per hour. Keep in mind that’s bordering on low cyclonic. Tropical cyclones are storms with gusts over flat stretches of land reaching 125 to 164 kph.
For your information here’s a list of storm categories:
Category 1 (Tropical cyclone): 90 – 125 kph
Category 2 (Tropical cyclone): 125 – 164 kph
Category 3 (Severe tropical cyclone): 165 – 224 kph
Category 4 (Severe tropical cyclone): 225 – 279 kph
Category 5 (Severe tropical cyclone): 280 kph