A Super Find
“We did not have a problem finding doors with the integrity we wanted,” said David South, president of Monolithic. "We found them, but they were in the $5000 to $7000 range. Put a few of those on a building and they really skyrocket the price of a project.
“We needed a door with two advantages: tornado-resistant strength and affordability. About a year ago, we found both in the Tornado Tamer,” David said.
A Super Door
Monolithic worked with Steel Storm Shelters, LLC, the door’s manufacturer, to have the Tornado Tamer tested by the Texas Tech University Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. It met FEMA 320 Guidelines and passed as a complete operating unit, able to resist a wind force of up to 250 mph.
In addition, the Tornado Tamer was reviewed, approved and stamped by a professional engineer for inclusion on a concrete dome. Steel Storm Shelters says that the Tornado Tamer is made of 1/4" plate steel on a steel tubing frame.
The standard size is 30″×70″. But other sizes (32″×84″, 36″×86″) and custom designs are available.
A Tornado Tamer can be a swing-in or a swing-out. Both designs met testing requirements, but the swing-out is safest since it has the added buffer of the jam to keep it from being forced open.
A single turn that sets three steel cams (top jam, latch side, bottom jam) opens and locks the door, that’s usually painted a beige color and is ready to install.
Now in Use
Monolithic had Tornado Tamers installed on domes completed in 2011 as community centers/disaster shelters for residents of two manufactured-home parks in Licking County, Ohio: Summit Ridge Estates and Wilkins Park.
Both sites are in a high-risk area for severe weather. And since Monolithic Domes meet and exceed FEMA standards for providing near-absolute protection both parks received FEMA grants to help pay for the domes’ construction.
Plans are already underway to use Tornado Tamers in the Monolithic Dome being built for a school in Locust Grove, Oklahoma that also received a FEMA grant to help with construction costs.
“We’re very happy to recommend and use doors that are both strong and affordable,” David South said. “When you talk about flying debris propelled by winds of up to 250 mph, the Tornado Tamer doors just make our domes so much more impregnable.”