Task Force Completes Investigation
By: Wendy Ward | Constructive Communication
One of the main goals of the TCA is to serve as an advocate for the industry to grow use of the method. As many of you will recall, earlier this year, site cast Tilt-Up received media attention regarding the performance of Tilt-Up structures in high wind events. This was in response to the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo. on May, 22, 2011. Located in the direct path of the tornado was a Home Depot constructed using the Tilt-Up method. Following the tornado, an article appeared in the June 25th edition of The Kansas City Star that singled out the performance of Tilt-Up construction and made many false and misleading claims about the method’s performance.
Shortly after publication of the article, the technical committee of the TCA formed a task force to investigate the claims presented in the article. With the cooperation of Home Depot, the task group performed detailed engineering calculations, research and investigation of the claims posed in the article. This task force consisted of a nationwide group of practicing structural engineers with a diverse range of experience in Tilt-Up construction and “big box” buildings.
Members of the task force include:
Jeffrey Needham, P.E., S.E. of Needham/DBS in Lenexa, Kan., Chairman Task Group
Karen Hand, P.E. of Needham/DBS in Lenexa, Kan.
David Tomasula, P.E. of LJB, Inc., in St. Louis, Mo., Chairman Technical Committee
Jeffrey Griffin, P.E. of LJB, Inc. in Dayton, Ohio
Jerry Coombs, P.E. of Coombs Engineering P.C. in Wylie, Texas
Brent Gibson, P.E. of TLC Engineering Inc. in Cocoa, Fla.
Mark Johnson, P.E., SECB of Johnson Structural Group, Inc. in Boca Raton, Fla.
Ken Luttrell, P.E. S.E. of CYS Structural Engineers Inc. in Sacramento, Calif.
Wes Britson, P.E., S.E. of PEC in Wichita, Kan., Non TCA at-large member
According to Ed Sauter, Executive Director of the TCA, the task force has completed their work and will be releasing the findings to the membership shortly. The task group’s efforts include four findings specific to the performance of the Tilt-Up Home Depot structure in the Joplin tornado. In addition to the findings, the task force has identified five general recommendations that focus on increasing building safety in catastrophic storms through enhanced building performance and/or the use of shelters. “The information provided in these findings will help Association efforts to promote the benefits of site cast Tilt-Up construction and dispute many of the claims presented in The Kansas City Star article,” Sauter added, “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of the task force to this effort and their commitment to advancing Tilt-Up.”