Volume 26, Issue 4 - July/August 2012

From the Editor
Building Awareness

June 1 marked the official start of the 2012 hurricane season. Before that date we’d already had two named storms and on Thursday June 21, the day before I wrote this column, Tropical Storm Chris evolved into Hurricane Chris. Questions emerged as to whether we should be concerned: will an early hurricane season mean a particularly active one?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), conditions favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin. For the entire six-month season, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there’s a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane and of those one to three will become major hurricanes. Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

But keep in mind, whether the 2012 season is active or mild, the fact remains: building codes are becoming increasingly stringent in terms of hurricane requirements. Once thought of as being a coastal-only matter, code requirements are quickly reaching many jurisdictions.

So, how comfortable are you designing and specifying for hurricane-prone regions and those areas where codes mandate hurricane products? After speaking with a few people in the glazing industry, their consensus is that most in the architectural field are not as knowledgeable as they need to be about these products and systems.

Resources are available.

Groups such as the Glass Association of North America and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association offer various documents, bulletins and means of guidance. Likewise, a number of systems manufacturers and suppliers have created their own documents and resources, such as continuing education courses. You can also learn more by reading about new projects and designs, such as the article on page 14.

We want to provide you with information and education about glazing topics. What questions do you have? Email me your thoughts and we’ll work to provide you with as much glass know-how as we can.

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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