I n t h e K n o w  
Considerations for Impact Products  
f you’re designing projects in a hurricane-prone  
area such as South Florida, you’re likely to stay in  
tune with what’s happening in the ever-changing  
building code world. The glass and glazing indus-  
try has worked tirelessly to continue to develop  
Price adds that since most hurricane impact  
systems are in coastal areas, a high-performance  
AAMA 2605 finish is critical on all exterior sur-  
faces, as is the use of the appropriate gaskets and  
stainless steel fasteners.  
products and technologies to meet these stringent  
Manufacturers and  
2 – Recent Improvements: Improved interlayers  
allow for larger glass sizes than were available in  
years past.  
suppliers are eager to  
“Architects constantly want to push the enve-  
lope with size and span of individual units and  
panels therefore we, as manufacturers, must  
respond with creative engineering that works and  
the incorporation of new hardware to handle the  
increased weight on operable units,” says Price.  
Consistent testing and quality control is essen-  
tial with unitized façade systems compared to site  
stick built systems, to ensure all sizes and shapes  
of units can be manufactured in a consistent and  
quality controlled manner.  
work with architects to  
specify the right products  
that will not only help  
you meet code mandates,  
but also will allow you to  
realize your architectural  
design concepts.  
In our eyes, it is  
never too early to engage  
us with design and tech-  
nical issues for the proj-  
ect,” says Matt Price, vice  
president and general  
3 - Multi-Tasking Systems: Impact rated systems  
historically have not weighed energy efficiency on a  
high scale.  
manager of Sun Metals  
Systems. “Typically, the  
sooner we are engaged,  
the sooner we can assist  
in making the architec-  
tural intent a reality for  
the façade.”  
While keeping that in mind, here are four  
factors to consider when designing a project that  
includes hurricane-rated glazing and curtainwall.  
1 - Location, Location: Architects should consider  
the location of their project, local building codes and wind  
speeds to accurately depict the proper design pressures.  
“In this day and age, architects are designing  
buildings with large pieces of glass,” says Price.  
“Depending on the location of the project, along  
with the impact requirements, this can limit the  
overall size of the window system. That’s why it’s  
Now, however, there is a significant shift to  
insulating laminated glazing make-ups and ther-  
mally improved and/or broken impact systems to  
keep up with the demands of energy efficiency.  
“Just 15 years ago, a standard impact window  
wall or curtainwall module would be 3 feet by 8  
feet,” says Price. “Today, we manufacture standard  
tested sizes of 5 to 6 feet in width with single-span  
units up to 18 feet, 6 inches tall in tested High  
Velocity Hurricane Zone systems. That is a huge  
leap in size and can only be manufactured with  
consistent quality and integrity through the use of  
unitized systems.”  
This ongoing project  
in Florida uses  
Sun Metals Systems  
units that span three  
feet by 18 feet. The  
system is tested  
for large missile  
4 - Maintaining a Balance: Architects continue  
to have a “bigger is better” mentality, but they’re also  
seeking slim sightlines on many projects.  
“Balancing these two is sometimes difficult but  
can be accomplished through solid engineering,  
and small missile  
impact to Testing  
Application Protocol  
01,201,203 at 150  
pounds per square  
important for architects and manufacturers to work manufacturing and testing coupled with solid  
together in the design phase helping provide the  
best path toward the overall design of the project.”  
partnerships with key suppliers down the chain  
such as glass fabricators,” says Price. “It is crucial  
Other key considerations include energy require- to be partnered with a solid glass fabricator who  
ments and testing protocols. “We want to make  
sure it fits in a tested size or that the design team  
realizes that non-tested sized [systems] and/or con-  
figurations means job-specific testing,” he says.  
can consistently produce laminated and insulating  
laminated glass with a solid adhesion between glass  
and interlayer that will perform in the lab and in  
the field without costly delamination issues.” AGG  
Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal  

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.