Hurricane Protection Products That Meet Building Codes
Air Louvers has door component products with the approvals needed in Florida, and have been tested to withstand both impact and cyclical testing. Our fire and hurricane-rated vision lite can meet both fire and HVHZ codes in your area. All vision frames include listed and approved glazing that meet the same stringent code requirements, saving you time and research to find the right approved glazing. Vision frames and louvers are labelled for easy identification by code officials.
Florida Building Code Approved Products:
Severe Windstorm Approved Products:
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About Hurricane Zone Ratings:
Products used on doors must pass one or more tests and be properly labelled with information on the certification. The fully-assembled unit – door, vision frame or louver and glazing must be tested as a whole, not just the components. An approved, independent testing agency performs these tests which include a missile propulsion device, an air pressure system, and a test chamber to model some conditions which may be representative of windborne debris and pressures in a windstorm environment. These test methods are applicable to the design of entire door assembly, their installation and ability to remain unbreached during a windstorm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not approve or certify products, and does not set standards for building codes, their mission is to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, and to protect against hazards.
Some products such as the Air Louvers vision frames and louvers have a “component” certification which means that the product can be used in an appropriately-listed door without having been tested as a complete unit with that particular door. In addition, some products which have been tested also receive an engineering evaluation, certifying that the product “as tested” meets other code requirements such as Miami-Dade County Florida.
Although hurricanes are not a sudden event like a tornado, the building envelope needs to protect the building's contents to the damaging effects of continued wind and rain. Internal pressurization has the potential to cause even more damage when the wall of a building is breached by wind, causing the internal pressure in the building to increase, resulting in increased outward acting pressure on the other walls and the roof.
Buildings in hurricane zones are now designed to withstand wind speeds based on a specific geographic location and probabilities of occurrence. Wind zone maps from the National Weather Service and documents from the American Society of Civil Engineers, are used to design buildings that can withstand these type of weather events. Buildings do not just have to resist a steady wind, but must also hold up to the fluctuation of pressures both positive and negative called cyclic pressure. Cyclic pressure can occur both before and after impact by windborne debris and the door assembly must be able to endure both sustained winds and gusts in a windstorm.
States on the eastern seaboard and gulf coast, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands and American Samoa all contain areas vulnerable to hurricanes. Section 6.2.1, E1996 of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) provides the standards for buildings in Wind Borne Debris Zones requiring wind-borne debris protection of glazed openings; in 110 mpg wind zones within one mile of the coast and buildings; in 120 mph and above wind zones, except the Florida Panhandle. See the Florida Building Code for complete information. View Wind-borne debris region map
More About Testing Standards:
ASTM E1886 & FBC TAS 203: Standard test method for impact-resistant performance of exterior windows, curtain walls, doors and impact protective systems based on positive and negative design pressure(s). During this test, a door is first subjected to specified missile impact(s) followed by the application of a specified number of cycles of positive and negative static pressure. The assembly must satisfy the pass/fail criteria established by the specifying authority, which may allow damage such as deformation, deflection, or glass breakage.
ASTM E1996 & TAS 201: This specification covers exterior windows, glazed curtain walls, doors and impact protective systems used in buildings located in geographic regions that are exposed to hurricanes or windborne debris. The testing included both a large missile test, and small missile test. Test results are shown with an impact rating such as “350 ft lb”, a missile level such as “D” and a pounds per square foot rating for cyclic wind pressure loading such as “55 psf”.
ASTM E330: This test method is a standard procedure for determining structural performance under uniform static air pressure difference using a test chamber. This typically is intended to represent the effects of a wind load on exterior building surface elements.
ASTM E283: This test determines the air leakage rates of exterior windows, curtain walls, and doors under specified differential pressure conditions and constant temperature and humidity.
ASTM E331: This test method covers the resistance of exterior windows, curtain walls, skylights, and doors to water penetration when water is applied to the outdoor face and exposed edges simultaneously with a uniform static air pressure at the outdoor face higher than the pressure at the indoor face.
ASTM E1300: Determines the load resistance (LR) of specified glass types, including combinations of glass types used in a sealed insulating glass (IG) unit, exposed to a uniform lateral load of short or long duration, for a specified probability of breakage
FBC TAS 202 & FBC 2441 3.2.1: Florida Building Code - Uniform structural load standards and cycle testing of impact-resistant building envelope components using uniform static air pressure.
NFPA 252, UL10C, Can/ULC S104: National Fire Protection Association codes. The fire-rated VLFIGHRC-F carries a fire-rating up to 60 minutes.
Labeling: Commercially produced products that pass one or more of these standards should have a certificate or label that identifies which standard(s) it has passed. These are usually listed by the test standard number such as TAS-201 , ASTM E 1886, etc. Note that products that pass the Miami-Dade County test standard will pass the other test standards; but, products that pass the other test standards will not necessarily pass the Miami-Dade County test standard. Building departments require that labels are present.