The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 28, 2011

RESOURCE: Workshop to focus on storm-resistant building techniques

From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — A workshop, Rebuild Joplin Strong, will be held Friday and Saturday, July 8-9, in Corley Auditorium at Missouri Southern State University.

The workshop will bring survivors of the May 22 tornado, planners and builders together with experts in disaster recovery. The focus will be storm-resistant and energy-efficient construction.

State Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, announced the workshop earlier this week. It will be open to the public and free of charge.

“These are the people who know how to recover from a disaster like ours and can help make the city more storm-resistant and environmentally sustainable in the future,” White said.

Highlights of the workshop will include:

• A discussion on the rebuilding of Greensburg, Kan., which was destroyed in a May 2007 tornado.

• Panel discussions with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, Monolithic Domes, the city of Joplin, Empire Electric District Co., local contractors and developers, and representatives from Greensburg.

• A keynote speech by Robert Berkebile, who was involved in the recovery of Greensburg after its tornado; of Pattonsburg, Mo., after 1993 flooding; and of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He will speak at 7 p.m. Friday, July 8.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will introduce the conference.

Saturday’s workshops will begin at 9 a.m. and will include the following.

• First session: Storm-hardened construction methods, including details about FEMA recommendations with SBA funding supplements, insulated concrete form, or ICF, construction, and other reinforced construction methods.

• Second session: Advanced, storm-proof construction methods capable of withstanding winds of more than 200 mph, including ICF methods with sloped reinforced concrete roofs; commercial ICF construction with flat reinforced concrete roofs; and monolithic dome construction for homes, schools and commercial buildings.

• Third session: Community and neighborhood planning, focusing on energy-efficient building opportunities, benefits and financing; renewable energy options; and neighborhood and community planning including moderate- and low-income developments.