A technical report on structural damage to buildings during Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland recently will inform future design and construction standards and consideration of community safety issues.

The ‘TC Yasi Structural Damage to Buildings’ report is based on first-hand field studies that were conducted in affected areas of North Queensland immediately after the cyclone.

James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station (CTS) organised Australian cyclone researchers and building professionals to compile data for the report.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) provided financial support for the report and welcomes its release. The report is available on the Board's website or from James Cook University website.

ABCB Chairman Mr Graham Huxley said, “The report noted that under the heavy wind loads of TC Yasi, buildings that had been built or extensively modified since the 1980s performed well.

“However, the report clearly pointed to the need for further review of a range of issues affecting community safety and resilience in cyclone prone areas.”

The technical report recommends several issues that should be considered by industry, governments and the community relating to the performance of building products, Australian Standards and the cyclone construction requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC).

The Board will also consider the report’s implications for work that is already underway on the adequacy of existing cyclone construction requirements. They will also engage with Standards Australia on issues identified within the report.

The ABCB also notes the Cyclone Testing Station will work with other relevant authorities on various aspects of the report.

The NCC specifies acceptable design levels for new cyclone area construction by prescribing the annual probability of loads for various building classes being exceeded. The code requires new work in cyclonic regions to be built to reduce the risk of structural failure.