Can Steel Buildings Withstand Strong Winds?

Steel buildings are renowned for their strength and durability; however, these attributes are the direct result of laser-focused design details, specifically around wind exposure.

Make Sure that the Steel Building is Designed with the Right Exposure

While some may think that they can save some money by designing their building for lower exposures, this will compromise the structural integrity of the building, and leave the owner susceptible to wind damage. Additionally, failing to meet local building codes, will force costly redesigns. One should be mindful that your building is designed according to local building codes and the requirements of the local building official, which may be stricter than the ones on the town statutes and legislation.

Lastly, the exposure levels of your buildings are a critical factor in its design. If a designer is attempting to under-design your steel building with loads that are too low, you will end up paying for it later.


Four Types of Wind Exposure

There are four types of exposure that your building will be made for – A, B, C, and D. Which exposure needed for your building is dependent on the location in which it will reside.

Exposure A

Buildings that have Exposure A are designed for establishments protected from significant wind exposure, either by natural or structural barriers. It is rare for buildings to be made for Exposure A wind loads as they must be built in close proximity to other large buildings or very specific natural surroundings capable of providing full protection.

Exposure B

Exposure B is more common than Exposure A, and is for buildings that have some sort of barrier (natural or man-made) that blocks the wind. These are often found in suburban areas.

Exposure C

This is the most common exposure for which steel buildings are designed. Exposure C is used when steel buildings do not have any significant coverage or protection from the wind.

Exposure D

Exposure D is the highest standard of wind exposure and are required when a building is within one mile of an open body of water.


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