Next month kicks off hurricane season in the United States, and although it's too early to know whether the coastal areas will be hit with any monster storms, multifamily owners and managers across the nation already are preparing for the worst.
Intent on minimizing damage to buildings and preventing injuries to residents, smart multifamily owners and developers—primarily along the coastal areas and in areas especially vulnerable to strong winds and seismic activity—are beginning to install windows and doors that have been engineered to withstand hurricane force winds and resist impact from storm debris. Wayne Gorell, president and CEO of Indiana, Pa.-based Gorell Windows and Doors, notes that weather experts are forecasting a 50 percent greater than normal hurricane season this year, which means 15 named storms versus the normal 10. “As a result, we think we will see a substantial uptick in hurricane window sales over the next few months,” he says.
Many manufacturers of windows and doors, including Marvin Windows and Doors, Gorell, Silver Line, and Kolbe are producing products that meet the State of Florida's High Velocity Hurricane Zone protocols. Many of the products have been tested and certified by organizations such as the National Fenestration Rating Council and the Texas Department of Insurance.
In many coastal areas, impact-resistant windows and doors are no longer optional—they're required as part of local building codes. That means that developers who are constructing apartment and condo projects in these hurricane-prone regions must choose windows and doors that are proven to withstand fierce winds, forceful rain, and dangerous debris.
Ponte Verde, Fla.-based Trident Realty Corp., for example, researched and evaluated a number of windows and doors for its Water's Edge condo project in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., as well as for two of its condo developments in St. Augustine, Fla., Villas of Augustine Island and Village Walk.
The company decided to install patio doors from NanaWall Systems. “We used the NanaWall on the balconies because we were looking for a glass-enclosed space that resists Mother Nature,” says Stewart Green, vice president of design and construction for Trident Realty. “It has maintained that stability in some very strong winds here.”
Green points out that these impact-resistant windows and doors also protect residents and buildings from other dangers such as burglary and sun damage from harmful UV rays.