Building Management Hawaii October/November 2013 - (Page 22)

Protecting Your Building Against Hurricanes Improperly prepared windows can put your structure and residents at risk. By Shawn Moseley W disasteR PReP e all know that hurricane season is upon us when local stores start running specials on toilet paper, bottled water supplies dwindle by the case and the news sensationalizes every little storm crossing the Pacific. Despite the hype, all of this is for good reason: being prepared in case a hurricane actually hits us. Many of us who are longtime locals remember the effects of Iwa and Iniki on our homes, families and local economy. Likewise, many of us who remember those hurricanes prepare in advance so we do not have to run to the store the day a storm is supposed to hit. Aside from extra supplies to get through a week without power, the most important aspect to consider when preparing for hurricanes is your windows. When a home or other building loses its windows, it can negatively affect the integrity of the roof and the walls, leading to anything from damaging water penetration to the collapse of the entire structure. So how do you best prepare windows in your building? The first step is to make sure that they meet the design pressure of R25 or better. This means that they can handle a wind speed of 105 miles per hour and the water that goes with it. This wind speed is typical of a Category 2 hurricane. The next step is to determine your windows’ impact rating. Impact rating is tested using a 9-pound 2-by-4 lumber missile shot out of a cannon at a window at 50 feet per second. To pass the test, the window must stay intact, including the glass, with a hole no larger than 1/16 inch by 5 inches. Unfortunately, the only glass capable of achieving this type of performance is laminated glass; plate glass and other types of glass will simply shatter on impact. What would be your other options? First of all, duct taping is not going to help your windows one bit against flying debris—so save your rolls of Hurricane screens installed on the cafeteria at tape. The oldLahainaluna High School on Maui, which also fashioned way doubles as a hurricane shelter. of protecting windows, still valid today per current building codes, is to use plywood as braces. Be sure, however, that the plywood is at least 7/16 inches thick so that it not only meets building code standards (important for insurance claims), but also actually protects your windows in the event of emergency. Another suitable approach is to use a hurricane screen that is rated and certified to Miami Dade County standards. Screens like the ForceField , available through Breezway, are made of a 316 marine-grade stainless steel—and, once installed, can be left on the window yearround, eliminating the need to do last-minute window preparations in an emergency. The screens also do triple duty as security screens, insect screens and heat-reduction screens, reducing the heat gain on your windows by more than 50 percent and providing cooler units. Remember, taking advantage of the latest in hurricane technologies in advance of a storm will not only protect your building and bring you peace of mind for years to come, but also create a safer haven for you and your residents in an emergency. Shawn Moseley is the territory manager for Breezway North America, which locally manufactures its products at its factory in Halawa. Shawn has more than 20 years of experience in commercial and residential consulting, design and sales in windows, doors and hurricane products. 22 October - November 2013 BMH

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii October/November 2013

Remodeling & Renovation
Disaster Preparedness
HVAC & Indoor Air Quality

Building Management Hawaii October/November 2013