Redefining Concrete Masonry

Best Block, TX|FL|AZ|CO
Midwest Block, MO|OK|TN|AR|KY|IL|KS
Willamette Graystone, OR
Oberfields, OH

Concrete Masonry Storm Shelter — Design Guide and Commentary

Storm shelters are becoming more common in construction projects, and required by code in a large portion of the U.S. The Storm Shelter Design Guide is a guide for architects, engineers and contractors to assist in the design and construction of tornado shelters utilizing concrete masonry units for the primary structural wall element, to resist the wind loads and debris impact produced by tornadoes and hurricanes. It also details the difference when the goal is to build a structure to protect against one violent powerful storm system versus the other — i.e. a tornado shelter is not precisely the same as a hurricane version.

A companion case study and commentary including construction drawings explaining architectural and structural design decisions for a hypothetical concrete masonry tornado storm shelter addition to a Kansas elementary school.

These resources provide an opportunity for architects and engineers to step into the shoes of an experienced shelter designer team to better understand the decision-making process.