ICC 500 Storm Shelter Requirements
ICC 500 is the consensus standards and codes for the construction and design for storm safe rooms and hurricane impact doors. It is the most widely adopted standards used in building codes today.
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How was the ICC 500 developed?
Several large scale catastrophic tornado events brought the safe room storm shelter to the forefront.
As news coverage of tornado disasters increased substantially, so did coverage of tornado safe rooms, including a storm safe room in Oklahoma that survived an F5 tornado during May of 1999.
Why is the ICC 500 Important?
The ICC 500 was written to give official codes and standards to the design and construction of storm safe rooms as well as hurricane impact doors. The purpose of this standard is to establish minimum requirements to protect individuals from the high winds that are produced by tornadoes and hurricanes. The standard includes all aspects relative to the design, construction
In 2009, the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) incorporated ICC 500 to regulate the design and construction of buildings (and safe rooms within buildings) that are designated as storm shelters or tornado safe rooms. All states that have adopted 2015 IBC or more recent, require all storm shelters to meet the ICC 500 standard.
Storm Safe Room Building Requirements:
Looking at all the regulations for safe room doors and shelters, especially school storm shelters, here are some of the major points of safe room design:
- Newly constructed K-12 school buildings with occupancy of 50 or more, 911 call stations; fire, rescue, ambulance and police stations as well as emergency operation centers located in the 250 mile per hour wind speed zone and additionally in states that have adopted the IBC 2015 or later, are required to incorporate storm safe room shelters to ICC 500 standards
- Any buildings that are being constructed in areas that have adopted IBC 2015 or later and decide to include a storm safe room, those tornado safe room are required to construct them in accordance with ICC 500 standards
- Any building that wishes to add or construct a storm safe room and wants to participate in the FEMA Safe Room Grant Funding Program, you are required to not only built them to ICC 500
requirements,but additionally follow the more stringent guidelines provided with inFEMA P-361 regardless of where you are located
ICC 500 Safe Room Door Advancements
While the first tornado safe room doors were big and bulky and required manual locks to secure them, safe room doors
Now designing an ICC 500 storm shelter does not have to be dark or claustrophobic, but allow for open airy designs. StormDefender tornado and hurricane impact doors embed into precast concrete, creating minimal protrusion into
But don’t let the sleek design fool you, StormDefender tornado shelter doors have been tested to resist debris up to 100 MPH and held effortlessly when exposed to wind pressure of 300