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Fed’s Report Cites Wind Loads In Football Facility Collapse

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A federal report released on Oct. 6 concludes that a Dallas Cowboys football practice facility collapsed last May under wind loads that were significantly less than those required to be resisted under applicable design standards. The report was released for public comment by the U.S. Commerce Dept.’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Irvine, Texas, facility failed during a severe thunderstorm, injuring 12. Based on national standards for determining loads and for designing structural-steel buildings, NIST found the wind load on the facility’s series of identical, rib-like steel frames, which supported a tensioned fabric covering, were greater than the frames’ capacity to resist those loads. The report recommends evaluations of similar fabric-covered frames to determine if the fabric covering provides lateral bracing for structural frames.

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