Woodbridge and Maple, Ontario (August 20, 2009), Midland, Ontario (June 23, 2010), Goderich, Ontario (August 21, 2011), Angus, Ontario (June 17, 2014), Dunrobin and Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec (September 21, 2018) … just a few Canadian communities that have been hit by tornadoes in recent years. In all cases roofs were ripped from homes, leading to total losses. Lab and field research being conducted at Western University… by wind engineers has found that a few low-cost measures can protect homes from extreme wind events, including tornadoes rated as high as EF2. These include use of hurricane ties – inexpensive metal fittings that connect roof trusses to walls.
Commentary: The tornados in Ottawa, and more and more extreme wind events across Canada, do mean that affordable solutions to address a changing climate are needed. However, per a session by CHBA’s David Foster and OHBA’s Technical Chair, Doug Tarry, a proper assessment is required via proper code process and field trials to get it right—e.g. trusses need to be tied to walls, but walls also to foundations; and new long-screw technology may be cheaper, better and faster to install than ties. CHBA is actively engaged with various standards groups and research groups like ICLR to ensure affordability and buildability are front-and-centre as resiliency options are pursued.