AAMA Southeast Looks at Hurricane Testing

May 11, 2011

Attendees of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association Southeast Region spring meeting held in early May in Charlotte, N.C., toured the new Institute for Business and Home Safety testing facility that simulates hurricane conditions. Representatives from IBHS offered information on the validation work that involves flow stimulation development and testing of a replica of the Texas Tech experimental building.

“It was incredibly valuable for AAMA members to attend the new IBHS Research Center to learn firsthand of the proactive work of the institute in identifying conditions associated with adverse weather in order to improve the resilience of homes against natural disasters,” says Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO. “IBHS Research Director Dr. Anne Cope indicated that she would be calling on AAMA in the very near future to help IBHS develop testing protocols for the evaluation of windows, doors and skylights under full scale extreme wind, rain and wildfire threats. We look forward to working with IBHS to better furnish and prepare structures for future hurricane seasons and urban wildfire events.”

The spring meeting also featured presentations on the Environmental Protection Agency's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Regulations, as well as an overview on building codes in the Southeast region of the U.S. and a update on national AAMA activities.

"I was impressed with the quality of the presentations and how relevant they were on issues affecting our industry," said Wayne Gorell, CEO of Gorell Windows & Doors. "From the new hurricane regulations to the lead remediation laws, the information presented was invaluable. The trip to the IBHS facility was fascinating- the facility can simultaneously test two full-size houses, taking them to the point of destruction by simulating 140 mph winds, rain, and even the effects of brush fires. Overall, it was a great meeting with lots of valuable, useful information."

This video shows a test performed at the IBHS wind testing facility, which became fully operational in
October. Two houses are subjected to Category 3 hurricane-force winds. One house is built to typical
Midwest code standards; that house is destroyed by the wind. The other has a variety of enhanced
structural details, specified by the IBHS Fortified program.