Session 9.1 The Birmingham, U.K. Tornado: 28 July 2005

Wednesday, 8 November 2006: 10:30 AM
St. Louis AB (Adam's Mark Hotel)
Timothy P. Marshall, Haag Engineering Co., Dallas, TX; and S. Robinson

Presentation PDF (1.7 MB)

On July 28, 2005, a rare F-2 tornado traveled through the eastern suburbs of Birmingham, U.K. injuring 19 people and damaging hundreds of buildings. Within days after the event, the authors conducted a detailed damage survey. The purpose of the survey was to document the overall path length and width of the tornado as well as to determine its strength. In addition, this survey afforded a unique opportunity to compare building practices in the U.S. with those in the U.K. It was found that buildings in the U.K. were constructed much differently than in the U.S. One difference was the widespread use of loadbearing brick masonry walls in the U.K. as opposed to brick veneer systems in the U.S. However, the performance of the U.K. buildings was similar to that in the U.S. as tornadic winds exploited certain flaws in building construction particularly at the roof/wall connections. This paper will present the findings of our damage survey as well as discuss the meteorological conditions of the event.
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