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Comparing Reinforced Concrete Buildings Vs Steel Buildings In Tornadoes – Which Holds Up Better?

By Adriana Noton

Natural disasters are incredibly scary and shocking, no matter how many times you have survived one. The warning that they are coming is not far in advance, if there is any at all, and most people are not sure how to react. This is the reason that those planning to move to an area that tends to be hit by tornadoes or hurricanes should do their research beforehand and move into the safest possible type of building for their family. When you look to compare reinforced concrete buildings vs steel buildings in surviving tornadoes, how do the two sides stack up?

The reason that it is so crucial to know this before you get to your new home is because once the disaster is on its way, no workers will have time to start reinforcing the buildings. Although it may be helpful to place bags or boxes in the windows, it will not prevent a large tornado from knocking down the entire building so you want to make sure that the structure itself is as strong as can be.

If you are confident that the building you are living in is the strongest it can be, than the chances that it will survive most storms is very high. This is important even if you manage to get far away from the disaster area because most insurance companies will not reimburse you for natural storms and occurrences so you will really be out of luck if your home is struck.

The latest research of today points to steel buildings as a better choice than one made of concrete, even if it is reinforced. This is because the concrete is often known to crumble when the wind that hits it is stronger than it can take, which steel has the essential capability of being flexible. In an intense storm, it can bend and move slightly, which lets it survive through harder hits. This is preferable for the carport especially.

Their structure is yielding to the storm so it works with it rather than try and simply resist. While the resistance of concrete is good up to a certain extent, it reaches its limit in storms with the highest amount of power and force. In general, steel does reach this limit as quickly because of yielding quality.

Steel has a second important quality that makes it a good choice, which is the metal conductors found inside its structure. These are able to act as conduits of shock waves, moving the shock to the system around the building so that the entire edifice absorbs the shock at once, rather than just the area that was hit. Since the hit is now less concentrated, the structure is better able to withstand the tornado.

It goes without saying that there is more to a strong structure than simply the material that it is made out of. If the building is not well-designed and the engineers did not plan it out well, than it will be tough to stand up to even the smallest of tornadoes. In cases such as these, a concrete building that was well-built would be a wiser choice than a steel one that was not.

The other important thing to note is that there are times, unfortunately, where the storm is too strong for both kinds of structure. Reinforced concrete buildings versus steel buildings in surviving tornadoes will not make a difference because it is just too intense. The good news is that these types of tornadoes are very rare and hopefully, it will not happen in your lifetime.

Offering state-of-the-art engineering and production values, these future steel buildings are among the best in the industry. The metal buildings come in practical and efficient designs. A wide range of future steel buildings, such as the metal storage buildings, is available at affordable prices.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Noton, Adriana "Comparing Reinforced Concrete Buildings Vs Steel Buildings In Tornadoes – Which Holds Up Better?." Comparing Reinforced Concrete Buildings Vs Steel Buildings In Tornadoes – Which Holds Up Better?. 22 Jun. 2010. 22 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Noton, A (2010, June 22). Comparing Reinforced Concrete Buildings Vs Steel Buildings In Tornadoes – Which Holds Up Better?. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Noton, Adriana "Comparing Reinforced Concrete Buildings Vs Steel Buildings In Tornadoes – Which Holds Up Better?"

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