After a devastation that was brought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992â€”nearly $25 billion in damageâ€”a new emphases was born to fight windstorm on building construction. Floridaâ€™s Dade County adapted a new code after Hurricane Andrew made its statement. With hurricanes ripping through our country, especially the south coast, everyone is looking for answersâ€”and ways to prevent it. Although there are no practical ways for us to prevent hurricanes, or any kind of high wind velocities, there is something that can be done to minimize the devastating effect of it on our structures, and most important, on our lives.
After Hurricane Andrew, Dade County officials were trying to find answers why Andrew has brought such destruction to a building. After proper investigations, the officials found doors, windows, skylights and garage doors damage from Andrew showing the reason for such destruction. The reason that such building components where, and still are, an area of concern and a weakness is because when windows or doors are broken by high wind and debrisÂ the building pressurizes and causes the roof to give-in to hurricaneâ€™s ripping hand. Those structures that survived roof blowout still were severely damaged by the wind and rain that came through ripped doors and broken windows. Because of such destructive experiences, codes were updated and added-on to resist the devastation of high wind velocity. As an example, ratings were moved to a new “worst case” scenario with a certification mark. Surprise to some, the effect of such changes in codes and ratings have not been so devastating on the industry; the answerâ€”since the entire state of Florida is under single code. All parties involved understand, for the most part, the straightforward requirements that were passed in response to fight the wind. To draw my point, let us take doors, for example; certification agencies will indeed punish materials directory that lists improper certified components/parts and their ratings; a hardware distributor will get his or her requirements; the labeling program will permit certain certification marks to applied to doors and frames; and, distributors should have no problem, since most already have such coverage for fire doors.
What does all of this mean on cost? Manufactures pass the extra cost testing and redesigning on their distributors; after that, distributors will pass it on to supply and eventually the cost will be absorbed by customers and owners alike. Although the owner is the one how might be in a losing situation here, rewards of abiding by the code will come when the winds come. â€œAs Florida recovers from four devastating hurricanes in one season, a clear lesson is emerging: The new codes worked. Better nailing, sturdier shear walls, more framing hardware, and beefed-up opening protection made the difference.
With so many Hurricanes that ripped through the State of Florida, its statewide building code does affect existing building and structures located within the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. The current buildings, as much as new construction, are required to comply with the code. What effect of such codes in Florida has made affect on the rest of United States? Most impact on code change was made on coastal states such as Georgia, Louisiana, Carolinas, and the entire state of Hawaii; those states felt the good effect of itâ€”quality of construction in high wind zones. All of the components in the building were looked inâ€”structural, outside cladding, roofing, and especially windows and doors, as mentioned earlier.
Because of new codes that are in place, not only safety of our lives and integrity of our buildings are improved but also new product development creates better economical situation, as some individuals put it; this encourage of new products and technologies increases safety, bringing improved ways to produce better products that are less expensiveâ€”balancing the whole extra cost for high wind zones altogether.
Paul Peshkov is a general contractor/business developer. As a favorite hobby, Mr. Peshkov is extensively involved in studying alternative medicine. He enjoys helping people reach their full potential in life. For more info on his latest developments visit his website, http://www.PaulPeshkov.com
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PSB sets hearing July 8
BRATTLEBORO — The Vermont Public Service Board will be at Brattleboro Union High School on July 8 to take comments from the public on whether Entergy should be fined for a leak of tritiated water at its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.