Once a commercial building is completed, property managers tend to avoid making upgrades because of how expensive they can get. Not only are upgrades in commercial buildings pricey, but they can also be a bit of inconvenience. Any sort of reparation or construction work in buildings with offices or retail spaces can cause disruption and disturb the flow of traffic.
That being said, certain upgrades help commercial buildings in the long-run. They can protect it from potential damage, which can get costly, and they may also increase property value.
In 2020, the weather forecast suggests that Florida will once again be hit with hurricanes. For 4 years now, Florida has been hit with destructive hurricanes that have caused immense amounts of damage to both residential and commercial buildings in the state. The New Year isn’t going to be any different, Floridians should prepare themselves for another bad hurricane season.
If you’re a facilities manager for a commercial building in one of the major cities in Florida, upgrading your windows will ensure that your premises remain protected regardless of how strong the hurricanes are.
Let’s take a look at how your hurricane-resistant windows can protect your facilities during bad storms:
Prevent Water Damage Inside Buildings
While conventional glass windows are used in commercial buildings may break, hurricane-resistant windows don’t. No matter how strong the winds maybe, you can rest assured your windows won’t break, which in turn will prevent water damage to your property.
It Improves Structural Strength
From studies, we know that the primary reason for broken glass windows during major storms is the change of pressure inside the building. Air pressure inside the building increases because of the sudden inflow of air and this can cause weak windows to break.
Having strong windows and doors in the building can prevent pressure from building up and strengthen your building’s structure.
Prevent Damage and Save Money
Floridians are all too familiar with the damage hurricanes can do. In fact, the first time commercial buildings considered installing hurricane-resistant windows in the UR was when Hurricane Andrew caused damages worth $25 billion in the state in 1992. In response to the crisis, the American Society of Civil Engineers developed new guidelines for construction.
In 2001, many new residential buildings and at-risk areas had to follow the state’s new structural guidelines. The windows had to have inbuilt shutters or hurricane-resistant windows that protected them from harsh winds.
To be classed as “hurricane-resistant”, the window will have to meet specific requirements that will ensure the window can survive small and large missiles.
A large-missile test involves fling a 6-foot-tall, 2×4 block weighing 9 pounds at a speed of 50 ft. per second at the window under laboratory conditions. After impact, the window framing and glazing should remain unaffected.
In a small-missile test, 30 pieces of steel ball bearings are flung at the window at a speed of 80 ft. per second. The windows that survive will meet the technical specifications for a hurricane-resistant window.
Hurricane-resistant windows can protect a house in a Category 5 storm that has 200 mile-per-hour winds. Whenever you decide to build a commercial building in Florida, search for windows that meet the standards of the building code in your zone.
According to the Energy Conservation Code, hurricane-resistant windows should have a maximum U-factor of 0.75 as well as a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.30.
In the short-run, hurricane-resistant windows will increase the construction cost, however, the protection they provide during Florida’s hurricane season, is worth it.
In the long-run, the investment you make will pay for itself by protecting you from potential damage. Installing impact-resistant windows can also help bring down homeowner’s insurance rates.
A single, good-quality, hurricane-resistant window can cost anywhere from $40 to $55 per sq. ft. for residential buildings. For a new home, installing hurricane-resistant windows only increases costs by a few thousand dollars—a price worth paying for the protection of your family and belongings.
Although no glass is unbreakable, hurricane-resistant windows are much sturdier than conventional glass windows. Even when they do break, they don’t break into large shards of glass that can be dangerous for all those who are on the premises.
They can survive winds of 200 mph without blowing away and are available in a variety of styles and sizes. Other than offering increased protection, they also offer soundproofing that blocks noise pollution. Hurricane-resistant windows also block 99% of transmitted UV light so on sunny days, the temperature inside the building doesn’t shoot up.
If you manage a commercial building in Florida, you should seriously consider upgrading your windows with hurricane-resistant windows.
The author of this guest post is a contributor for Alcon Windows and Doors, which is a window and doors installation company in Miami. Their services include installation and repairs of stylish and sturdy impact resistant windows and doors.
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