Highland Manor Community Shelter and Safe Room

Madison, WI Commercial Industrial

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  • 2016 SEA-WI Excellence in Engineering Award Winner

Keeping communities safe is what led the City of Madison to building the Highland Manor Community Safe Room. The destruction of homes and concern for its citizens and community are just two of many reasons why the City of Madison wanted to build a storm shelter for its mobile home residents at Highland Manor. The City wanted the building to be multi purposed and usable as a community space and meeting room when not needed due to inclement weather.

Highland Manor Safe House is classified as a safe room as it goes beyond the ICC-500, to meet the requirements of FEMA's Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms (FEMA P-361). The safe room contains precast concrete sides, a reinforced membrane roof, safety guards for doors and windows and no basement. Spancrete precast concrete beams, columns, wall panels, and roof planks were erected on site. The building can withstand 250 mph winds. The storm shelter is more than just a safe room, it is a community room, contains bathrooms, and an adjacent playground and parking lot for the community. The facility is 6,400 square feet and has an occupancy of 845 during storms and 212 as a meeting / event space. The safe room is open year round and maintained by the City of Madison Park Systems. The safe room was made possible by a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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  • Community SHelter and Safe Room
  • Withstand winds of 250 mph
  • FEMA Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes Design (FEMA P-361)


Engineer: R.A. Smith National

General Contractor: Miron

Architect: Assemblage Architects


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