I started working for a Tulsa Commercial Contractor known as Williams Contracting which is actually located in Muskogee Oklahoma. For the first eighteen months that I work for the Tulsa Commercial Contractor known as Williams Contracting, we had done what was called negotiated work or worked as a construction manager.

In my previous search engine optimization articles I have covered the differences between general contracting and construction management; however, one of the main differences is that with a general contractor a bid is submitted to cover all the work for the job or the entire scope of work, but under construction management the fees and overhead for the contractor are negotiated up front and bids for the different scopes of work or trades are submitted by the subcontractors.

The very first job that we started working on as a general contractor or a Tulsa Commercial Contractor that I helped compile the bid was for the Carl Albert State College. Call Albert State College in Poteau, Oklahoma had a project that consisted of a multipurpose building with a large open area and a safe room. The purpose of the building was to first off serve as an area where activities could be held but it would also double as a safe room. Buildings that are going to be safe rooms have to meet certain criteria as laid out by the federal emergency management agency otherwise known as FEMA who used guidelines set forth by Interstate Commerce Commission or the ICC.

Safe rooms fall under two categories there are tornado/hurricane/storm shelters and there are safe rooms. Safe rooms that are FEMA rated have more requirements then the storm shelter. Both types of safe rooms whether it be a storm shelter, or an actual safe room have to meet certain guidelines from both FEMA and the ICC. The ICC 500 and FEMA.Gov lay out certain guidelines that the two different types of buildings have to meet. These guidelines specify everything from how the slab is to be anchored to the rest of the building if it is part of the building and how is to be anchored into the ground if it’s a building onto itself.

These rules and guidelines are very stringent and have to be because people are depending on these rooms in an emergency. When a Tulsa Commercial Contractor or any contractor is constructing one of these buildings it is important to worry about the safety and functionality aspect of the building before you worry about the aesthetics of the building; however, in a commercial building both are important. Carl Albert State College put the project out to bid and we were not only bidding against other Tulsa Commercial Contractors, but Williams was also bidding against other general contractors for areas across Oklahoma.

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Again, up until this point all our work had been under construction management or had been previous bids that were obtained or awarded before I started work with Williams Contracting. We had turned in several bids, but we had not been awarded any of the jobs and I believed that I could possibly be bad luck. Once we are awarded the bid for the Carl Albert State College Multipurpose Building-Safe room I knew I was not bad luck to Williams Contracting.

Carl Albert State College Multipurpose Building – Saferoom is a block building with the masonry veneer, a concrete sub roof, and a Tear-a-way metal roof. We had 300 days to complete Carl Albert State College Multipurpose Building – Saferoom. In a safe room it is important that the roof carry load directly to the slab below ground. The rebar that is in the slab then goes up through the block walls and also goes through the concrete roof. The reason that the ceiling has to be attached to the ground or the slab is that a tornado creates and has a suction force that will pull on the roof and if the roof is not anchored to the ground there in the roof will fly away any danger the people inside. All this is regulated in the ICC 500 and the FEMA regulations.

This building is considered a community safe room because of the number of people that it will hold. Carl Albert State College Multipurpose Building – Saferoom is also considered a tornado shelter because of the distance Oklahoma is away from the coast. Not coastal and non-coastal cities and states have different when requirements for their safe rooms in storm shelters as well as occupancy requirements for safe rooms and storm shelters. One of the key differences that separates a safe room/storm shelter from a typical block building are the doors. The doors of a storm shelter or safe room are going to be steel and much heavier than a typical door even one made from hollow metal. Both the federal emergency management agency and the ICC 500 have particular requirements about how a door is to be anchored into a wall to withstand both the suction of a tornado and the debris in the wind of a tornado.

So when Carl Albert State College was looking for a Tulsa Commercial Contractor to build their safe room they wanted a Tulsa Commercial Contractor who had experience in building safe rooms and would have the ability to follow the requirements set forth by the federal emergency management agency and the ICC 500. The Carl Albert State College Multipurpose Building – Saferoom would also have to follow other guidelines typical to that of a commercial building.

These guidelines would include things like handicap accessible restrooms, handicap accessible entrances to the building, and fire extinguishers and depending on their occupancy it would require a sprinkler system. Buildings that hold a certain number of people require a sprinkler system and not just fire extinguishers. Carl Albert State College Multipurpose Building – Saferoom would also come equipped with a large generator because as a safe room and storm shelter it would need to be used during emergencies when there is a high likelihood that the power would go out.