First 'Fortified' Retrofit Equipped with Viwinco Windows

August 10, 2011

OceanView impact-resistant casement windows from Viwinco Inc. were selected for the first home to earn the Insurance Institute for Building & Home Safety Fortified for Existing Homes Gold designation. Built in Surf City, N.C., the home was equipped with windows that are hurricane-rated and meet a structural wind speed rating of 171.2 mph and can withstand flying debris such as 2x4s up to 50 feet per second, the manufacturer reports.

 The Viwinco OceanView windows are prominent on the new home.

The IBHS’ Fortified for Existing Homes program is designed to help strengthen existing homes by offering a systemic, step-by-step approach to retrofitting in ways that can significantly reduce or prevent damage from specific natural hazards. Homeowners can earn a bronze, silver or gold designation by strengthening specific systems of the home. IBHS also has a a Fortified for Safer Living designation for newly-contstructed homes.

The North Carolina home was already under construction when the builder and homeowner decided to participate in the program.  “In prior years, Fortified for Safer Living was the only standard, and we would have had to turn this homeowner away,” says Fred Malik, IBHS program manager.   “But since IBHS added Fortified for Existing Homes last year, homeowners and builders now have a road map to make significant, affordable durability upgrades to any home.”

With the gold designation under the program, IBHS notes that the homeowner qualifies for financial incentives available in North Carolina’s 18 coastal counties.

“As we got into the project with the builder, we learned more about IBHS and Foritified homes,” explains Ron O'Quinn, the home’s owner. “It really became a no-brainer at that point. For the added protection, not to mention peace of mind, anyone with a house on the coast of North Carolina should seriously consider retrofitting toward meeting the criteria for a Fortified home.”

“I initially selected Viwinco for this project because I needed an affordable impact-rated window, but it has been Viwinco’s quality, customer service and performance that have won my continued use for all future Fortified projects,” notes Tom Dugan, president of DEI Building Solutions, which designed and built the home.