The natural world is capable of many acts of great destruction, and “nature’s fury,” as they call it, will strike whether or not human settlements are in the way. Earthquakes rattle the ground and may shatter buildings and streets, while a volcanic eruption will cover the area in lava flows, which may vaporize any buildings in the way. Meanwhile, meteorologists are hard at work tracking and studying powerful storms such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and more, and understanding these storms makes it easier to predict their timing and location. This, in turn, makes it easier to launch and coordinate evacuation efforts to save lives.
But what about the buildings themselves? Condos and office buildings cannot be simply evacuated along with their residents, so engineers have developed hardware that allows buildings to survive natural acts. Levees can help contain flood waters, and buildings along California’s San Andreas fault line have specialized foundations to endure earthquakes. Meanwhile, along the east coast, glass door systems and high impact glass windows and doors will endure devastating hurricane winds and rain. Hurricane glass door systems and hurricane resistant windows help prevent major internal damage to buildings, and construction contractors often coordinate with glass door system and window manufacturers to get the right models for the job. Impact glass doors and related glass door systems and windows can be a fine investment once they protect the interior from powerful winds and flying debris.
The Power of Hurricanes
Hurricanes are certainly among the most powerful storms on earth, if not the very strongest, and even the smaller ones can cause a lot of damage when they arrive. Many records are kept to track hurricane activity, and the numbers show that in the 20th century as a whole, some 158 hurricanes arrived at the continental U.S., with Florida alone getting hit with 57 of them. These storms offer strong winds, floods and rain, and wind-blown debris, and they sometimes even spawn tornadoes while over land, as Hurricane Andrew did in 1992 (it created 62 tornadoes).
What is more, many experts and meteorologists have reported that hurricanes are becoming even more powerful and frequent now in the 21st century, and they often cite climate change (and warming oceans) as a cause. At the very least, it can be said that the year 2017 saw extreme heights of hurricane activity. In that year, 10 different storms in a row formed into full fledged hurricanes, a feat not achieved since 1893, over a century prior. In that same year, Hurricane Irma formed, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record. This mammoth storm contained an incredible seven trillion watts of energy, and it had 185 MPH winds for over 37 hours during its lifetime. Before this storm was gone, it had destroyed or at least damaged over 90% of the buildings in Bermuda and left many people there homeless. If storms of this magnitude are going to appear again in the near future, it is essential that engineers and construction crews are ready to protect property from such devastation.
Glass Door Systems and Window for the Job
Condos, apartments, and office buildings can’t be moved out of a hurricane’s way, but they can be made more durable in the face of a storm. While levees and elevated foundations help prevent flood damage, specialized glass doors and windows help prevent extensive interior property damage. Construction crews erecting a condo or hotel may purchase specialized hurricane proof windows and doors from wholesalers to help prepare that building for a storm, for example. And when someone buys an older hotel or office building, they may conduct extensive inspections on the premises. Old windows and glass doors can be replaced with newer models that can more easily endure a hurricane’s power.
These windows and glass door systems may feature tough frames that endure strong winds, and the glass itself may have a specialized glaze, too. Glaze systems rated at +105/-130, for example, can endure winds over 100 MPH without breaking. Otherwise, broken windows during a hurricane would scatter broken glass and admit winds and rain water that would devastate the building’s interior. Instead, these windows may block strong winds and rain, and even solid debris may bounce right off of them.