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Code Considerations

The International Residential Code (IRC) requires exterior windows and doors to be designed to resist the design wind loads specified in Table R301.2(2) adjusted for height and exposure per Table R301.2(3) and that they be tested and labeled. Labels must include manufacturer, performance characteristics, approved inspection agency, and compliance with the requirements of either AAMA/NWWDA 101/I.S.2, or the new version, AAMA/WDMA 101/I.S.2/NAFS, Voluntary Specifications for Aluminum, Vinyl (PVC) and Wood Windows and Glass Doors. The IRC also requires compliance of glazed openings with impact protection in accordance with ASTM E 1886 , Test Method for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors and Storm Shutters Impacted by Missile(s) and Exposed to Cyclic Pressure Differentials, and ASTM E 1996, Standard Specification for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Impact Protective Systems Impacted by Windborne Debris in Hurricanes .

Ten years after Hurricane Andrew caused an [IMAGE: Cloud] estimated $26 billion in property damage that displaced 250,000 people, Florida became the first state in the nation to create building codes that addressed the extreme wind conditions experienced during tropical storms in coastal regions. The Florida Building Code (FBC) requires that buildings be designed to withstand design pressures (DP) that are a function of wind zones mapped for mainland Florida and the height and exposure of the structure. The International Residential Codes (IRC) of 2000 and 2003 and some Gulf Coast states' adoption of the IRC, as well as the pending FBC addition of additional wind zones in the Florida Panhandle, will place all coastal states under similar wind design prescription.

Per the FBC, protection of exterior windows and glass doors from windborne debris in buildings located in hurricane-prone regions is required in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. A Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance (NOA) for impact-resistant products is one way to ensure that a window has been tested and meets all the requirements for hurricane protection in the highest wind velocity zones. The Florida Building Commission recognizes Miami-Dade NOAs as approved products.

Content updated on 7/17/2006

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