We all know that weather can be unpredictable, and protection against the elements is probably the main reason you’ve made the decision to get a shelter in the first place. Whatever type of building you’re considering, it’s important that it will be able to stand up to the toughest conditions.
Within Australia there is a wide variation in climactic conditions, which means there are plenty of different types of weather situations that can affect the ability of your shelter to perform as required. These include intense sunlight, rain and wind, hail and lightning. When it comes to wind, there is a way to feel confident that your shelter is built to withstand the worst mother nature can throw at it, and this is by looking at the wind ratings.
Using a shelter that doesn’t comply with local wind ratings could mean that if a storm hits, or if you get a sudden gust, your shelter and whatever is inside could be damaged. An unsuitable shelter can also be a safety hazard for any people who are working in it, or those in the surrounding area.
Whenever you purchase or hire a shelter, you should always check that it conforms to the wind ratings for your area, especially if you are planning to use it in a coastal region. If you aren’t familiar with wind rating codes, it can be a bit confusing. Here is a brief explanation of how Australian wind ratings work.
What are wind ratings?
As part of Australian standards, different regions have different wind ratings. Any structures that are built or placed in those areas need to conform to the relevant ratings, otherwise they could fail. There are four different ratings, depending on the level of wind that is possible in each different area.
Wind ratings are calculated based on a number of different factors. These include:
- Geographical location. Certain areas are designated ‘tropical’ areas, which means that they are more likely to experience severe storms and winds. The northern coastline of Australia is particularly vulnerable to severe weather.
- Level of exposure. Coastal areas usually get more wind than inland areas as they are more exposed, so they have a higher wind rating. There are also designated high wind areas inland that are more exposed.
- This is also known as importance level and it refers to what the building is used for, and how frequently it is occupied by people. Level one is the lowest usage rating and applies to buildings that would present a low degree of hazard or risk in the event of a failure. Level four is the highest usage rating and is used for buildings and structures that are associated with hazardous materials or are essential to post-disaster recovery.
- Likelihood of cyclones. Cyclone-prone areas have a higher wind rating than other areas. A shelter that is located in a cyclone-prone area needs to be able to withstand extreme high winds.
Wind ratings form part of Australian standard 1170, and it’s essential that the shelter you choose matches the area it will be used in. Each designated wind region has a maximum wind speed that your shelter will need to be able to withstand if it’s going to conform.
- Region A: this is the most common region in Australia and shelters need to be able to withstand winds of up to 147.6 km/h.
- Region B: certain areas in Australia are designated region B and shelters build there need to be able to withstand winds of up to 186.8 km/h
- Region C: for cyclone-prone areas, structures that are built in the region need to be able to cope with winds of up to 227.1 km/h.
- Region D: for a very small area of Australia only that is prone to severe tropical cyclones, shelters need to be able to handle wind speeds of up to 288.3 km/h.
To make sure your machinery and workers are protected, always choose a shelter with an approved wind rating for the region you’re working in.
At Allshelter, we can help you find the perfect shelter for your needs. Call us today to discuss your requirements.