This August marks the 25th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, one of the most devastating and costliest storms to pass through Florida. Andrew caused more than $25 billion in damages to Florida alone.
Due to the destructive, wide sweeping damage, Floridians had to take a hard look at why their buildings failed. The Florida Building Codes Study Commission was created. During their 16 month study, the commission found a complex and confusing patchwork of codes and regulations that had been developed, amended, administered and enforced differently by more than 400 local jurisdictions and state agencies with building code responsibilities. In the case of Hurricane Andrew, the problem was not weakness in the codes themselves that contributed to the extensive storm damage. Rather, it was the inability to enforce and comply with the confusing system of multiple codes and administrative processes. It had become clear that Florida needed a single, statewide building code system.
Building Products Impact
Due to these improvements to the building codes, manufacturers that sell into Florida must obtain approval through the Florida Product Approval process or the Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance. To be certified manufacturers must pass these High Velocity Hurricane Zones test protocols:
- TAS 201-94 – Impact Test. During this test several 8 foot long 2 by 4’s are shot from an air cannon to simulate large missle impact on strategic points on the product.
- TAS 202-94 – (Static) Air Pressure & Water Penetration Test. This test is designed to test structural overload with both positive and negative pressure. The testing of the design is performed at +/- 50%, +/- 100% and finally +/- 150% of static air. Additionally, a stream of water is blasted at the product at 15% of the testing load. To pass, the product must withstand these static forces, with no failure, for 30 seconds.
- TAS 203-94 – Cyclic Wind Pressure Loading Test. This is a pulsating series assessment designed to test wind pressure loading. During this test there are 671 – 1 to 3 second cycles at 50%, + 50% and 120% of the testing load.
Nystrom understands the complexities around these codes. We’ve tested our products and have both Florida Product Approved and Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance (NOA) products. To learn more about Hurricane Zone Products or to see how Nystrom can help on your next project, please visit www.Nystrom.com/hurricane-products.