NEWS - Working and living in the Midwest's Tornado Alley
Working and living in the Midwest's Tornado Alley, we've learned a thing
or two about twisters and their incredible destructive power. Being in
the window business, we decided to do something about it.
Unlike hurricanes, tornado
design criteria are not ?built into? the standard building
codes.Specialized codes and specifications must be utilized by
architects to plan for these events. Our chairman, Gantt Miller, led an
AAMA task force to create a new voluntary specification, AAMA 512-11,
Voluntary Specifications for Tornado Hazard Mitigating Fenestration
Products, which provides a rating system to evaluate a window system's
ability to withstand impact, pressure cycling and water penetration. The
level of testing depends on the type of facilities and FEMA performance
zone where the building is located.
Many schools, hospital emergency rooms, police/fire headquarters and
other public buildings are opting to include a safe room in their
design. Since these rooms must also serve as workable space year round,
windows are an important element.
Other documents that address
storm shelters include FEMA 320 and FEMA 361. The 361 document, for
example, includes a section on tested glazing material. The ICC 500-2013
Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters addresses
specific testing issues.