Florida Building Code TAS 201 is the critical regulation that was imposed after Hurricane Andrew demolished the South Miami area back in 1992. This regulation is now the standard for hurricane windows and shutters in Miami-Dade County and the gold standard in the impact window world.
Tough New Standards
The current toughest standards for impact windows and doors have grown from that hurricane and the subsequent regulation changes. Now, window testing standards have been set by the Miami-Dade County Hurricane Approval Certification. The products that meet those tough standards are the best for protection in areas that see hurricanes as well as other windstorms and tornadoes.
New construction built in Florida now must meet stringent requirements for hurricane impact requirements. If you live in a high velocity zone in South Florida, your windows must meet one standard. If where you live is not considered a high velocity zone, they must meet another one.
The Miami-Dade County Hurricane Approval Certification
The Miami-Dade County Hurricane Approval Certification tests windows based on criteria that was enacted after the Florida building code changes of 2002. In order to get this certification, an impact window manufacturer must have the product tested by the organization and it must pass. These are tests that measure how much impact and pressure the window is able to sustain.
Two Important Tests
When it comes to testing, there are two important components: the Missile Test and the Cyclical Test. The Missile Test is further broken down into large and small missiles, depending on the use of the window and where it will be placed.
Impact requirements are measured by a large missile test as well as a small missile test.
- The large missile test is where a 2’ by 4’ 9-pound piece of lumber is propelled by a “lumber cannon” at 50 feet per second (approximately 35 miles per hour) at the glass. The first missile will be shot at the middle of the window and the second at one of the corners. This is a requirement for windows that are used in buildings less than 30 feet in height.
- The small missile test is where 10 small steel balls are propelled to strike the glass at 89 miles per hour. Hurricane glass used in buildings over 30 feet in height must pass this test.
After the Missile Test, the window goes on to the Cyclical Test. This ensures that the window will be able to sustain wind pressure during a storm.
Pressure is tested in both negative and positive terms. These simulate wind and ensure that the window will remain structurally intact at winds up to 200 miles per hour. The cyclical test performs both 4,500 positive cycles and 4,500 negative cycles in a pressure chamber. The results are then calculated in pounds per square foot.
Wind ratings will vary depending on the window.
Have questions about hurricane doors and windows in Florida? We have the answers. Contact the hurricane window professionals at R&B Remodeling. We would be happy to give you a free installation quote.