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How strong wind can a barndominium resist?

Usually, well-structured metal barndominiums easily survive wind of up to 175 mph. It is possible to resist 200 mph wind with ICF blocks.

Some slight damage may occur during a category 3 hurricane which accounts for wind speeds of 111 mph and 129 mph. However, wooden pole barns are not expected to resist any category 4 hurricane having wind of up to 156 mph as their structural integrity is not as strong as the metal one.

In the USA, most residential homes can resist a wind up to 50 mph and some homes have recently restructured to resist wind more than that. But, Texas especially has the building code to comply with a wind resistance of at least 175 mph, which is a category 3 hurricane (earlier the minimum wind resistance in Texas was 130 mph). In line with that, Florida has also set a minimum wind resistance of 150 mph which affects your overall barndominium budget.

Since Texas experiences at least one hurricane a year, its building code is stricter than others. But, as a barndominium owner, you should always think about protecting your structure and aim for at least a wind resistance of more than 175 mph.

Barndominiun wind

When can a barndominium resist 130 mph wind?

Making your barndominium stand strong against 130 mph winds is a big deal, especially in areas where Mother Nature loves to show off her strength. For example, Texas sees a category 3 hurricane a year and Florida experiences it once in a three years tenure.

Here’s the lowdown on beefing up your barndo to weather the storm:

  • Follow the Codes: First things first, you gotta play by the rules. Building codes are your best friends here. They’re like the rulebook for ensuring your barndo can take a hit. For 130 mph winds, you’re looking at specs often found in coastal and hurricane-prone areas. Think Florida or Texas coastal standards, where they don’t mess around with wind resistance.
  • Foundation and Anchoring: Your barndo needs to be grounded like it’s facing its worst enemy. Anchoring it properly to a solid foundation is key. We’re talking heavy-duty bolts and reinforcements that make sure your barndo doesn’t decide to take flight.
  • Steel Frame Strength: Steel frames are tough. They’re like the backbone of your barndo. Opting for a higher gauge (which means thicker) steel can add that extra oomph to withstand those gusty blows. It’s like choosing a heavyweight champion to defend your home.
  • Roof and Wall Considerations: Don’t skimp on the roof and walls. Metal roofing secured with the right fasteners can prevent it from peeling off. For the walls, make sure they’re properly reinforced. Every piece needs to be tight and right, leaving no weak spots for the wind to exploit.
  • Windows and Doors: These are potential weak links. Impact-resistant windows and doors are the way to go. They’re like having a shield in battle, specifically designed to take the hits without shattering.
  • Professional Guidance: When in doubt, bring in the big guns. A structural engineer or an experienced builder can provide personalized advice based on your location and specific design. They can spot potential weaknesses you might miss.

Added Tips to withstand 170 to 200 mph wind!

Here are some additional strategies you can apply. These are all proven and we have seen many success stories of barndominium facing even more than 200 mph wind in Florida a few years back.

Barndominium facing hurricane

Invest in Insulated concrete forms or ICF

Well, that’s interesting. Instead of using concrete blocks, you can use Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF).

made of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) or another type of insulating foam. Actually, ICF blocks interlock to form the walls of a building, and empty space within these walls is then filled with reinforced concrete.

Eventually, the barndominium becomes a super strong and energy-efficient wall system.

Now, let me explain, How does the ICF absorb the shock of 200 mph wind?

  • Concrete’s Strength: Concrete is known for its compressive strength, but when reinforced with steel rebar within the ICF blocks, it also gains tensile strength. This means it can resist bending or stretching forces, essential in high wind scenarios where pressures can fluctuate rapidly.
  • Continuous Load Path: ICF walls create a continuous load path that is essential for wind resistance. This path transfers wind loads from the roof, walls, and other parts of the structure directly to the foundation and into the ground, preventing the building from being uplifted or torn apart by wind forces.
  • Air-tight Seal: The foam blocks of ICF form an air-tight seal, reducing the chances of wind penetration. This is crucial during high winds, as internal pressure from wind entering a building can lead to roof and wall failure. An air-tight building envelope helps prevent this from happening.
  • Impact Resistance: Debris flung by high winds can be deadly for conventional structures. ICF walls offer superior impact resistance, protecting the interior from flying debris, which is common in tornadoes and hurricanes.

Need a Hurricane-proof Barndominium Floor Plan?

We filtered out the trending barndominiun design layouts in one place.

The government policy for wind resistance

Let me guide you to the policies available for wind resistance in wood and metal houses in the USA.

State/AreaPolicy AuthorityKey Standards/Notes
FloridaFlorida Building Code (FBC)Among the strictest in the country, especially in hurricane-prone areas like Miami-Dade and Broward counties, requiring buildings to withstand winds up to 175 mph.
Texas (Coastal Regions)Texas Department of Insurance, Windstorm InspectionsRequires construction to meet standards for wind resistance, particularly in hurricane-vulnerable zones along the Gulf Coast, with wind speeds up to 150 mph.
CaliforniaCalifornia Building Standards Code (Title 24)Includes considerations for high wind speeds, especially in areas prone to Santa Ana winds. Wind design criteria vary by locality.
OklahomaInternational Building Code (IBC) adopted locallySpecific emphasis on tornado-resistant design for certain buildings, including safe rooms and storm shelters that can withstand winds up to 250 mph.
LouisianaLouisiana Building CodeAfter Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana adopted stricter building codes, particularly for the Southern part of the state, requiring resistance to high winds up to 130-150 mph.
North CarolinaNorth Carolina Building CodeCoastal areas have specific wind resistance requirements to withstand hurricanes, with varying requirements inland based on historical data.
Wind resistance policy for metal home

Which type of roof fights hurricanes and strong wind?

Choosing the right roof for a barndominium to withstand strong winds and hurricanes is crucial.

The hip roof design emerges as a top contender. Unlike its counterparts, the hip roof slopes on all sides, creating a more aerodynamic structure that allows winds to flow over it with less resistance.

This characteristic significantly reduces the chances of wind getting underneath the roof and lifting it off during a hurricane.

Plus, the symmetrical shape of a hip roof adds to its stability and ability to distribute weight evenly, further enhancing its resistance to high winds. It’s this blend of aerodynamics and structural integrity that makes the hip roof a smart choice for areas prone to severe weather.

Let’s Wrap

So, we suggest you invest more in windproofing and hurricane-proofing of your barndominium since you are investing a big chunk of savings and DREAM together in one place.

Wind can be deadly, and you should not keep your family members and machinery at risk!

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper

I'm Brian, an architectural engineer from the University of Texas

Writing about barndominium is my passion. I try to bring informative and technical contents on barndominium so that the entire sourcing and construction process seems easy.

As an architectural engineer, I do have expertise of designing and building using prefabricated steel structures. Moreover, I am connected with 500+ prefabricated steel structure experts that helps me to gather and prepare the relevant information for your help.

I have experience of 250+ barndominium contrustion of which 75% are built with metal structure. Moreover, I am a trained energy audit professional, and with that specialization I can help you to bring your barndo's energy consumption at minimum level.

I hope you like my write-ups which is my greatest inspiration.

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