Volume 22, Issue 2 - March/April 2008

From the Editor
Blown Away
by Charles Cumpston

Global warming and the use of the Earth’s resources are two of the most important topics of discussion today. It’s easy to understand why.

Weather affects us all. Last year it was wet in the West and dry in the East. And then there are the tornados and the hurricanes. Eliza Doolittle may have said that hurricanes hardly happen, but from Texas to Florida to New York, there has been a lot of attention—and action—in the last couple of years focused on hurricanes and the damage they do.

Hurricanes and other disastrous forms of weather are important to architects and designers because the structures they design must be able to withstand them. Hurricanes and high winds are important to the architectural glass and metal industry because we have to supply products that will meet the needs of the buildings you design.

Of course, codes and building officials are the driving forces behind hurricane-resistant structures. Their mandates are designed to guarantee that the design and products used in a structure offer the necessary level of protection against hurricane damage.

Will this year be a big one for hurricanes? If it is, then the role of hurricane-resistant design and products will continue to be at the forefront for both consumers and code officials as well as architects and designers and the architectural glass and metal industry.

In this issue, we have an interesting article by Paul Beers, a consultant, who discusses whether just complying with the codes is enough or if tighter design criteria is necessary in some applications.

He explains how to go about increasing performance requirements to exceed code and gives examples of how this can be done. We all want to be responsible and do what is right. As an industry, the architectural glass and metal product manufacturers strive to provide ever-better hurricane-resistant products. It is tricky for industry suppliers to balance the costs and economics of products versus their performance. But as long as substantial damage from hurricanes continues to occur, our industry will remain the partner of architects and designers in making structures that offer more hurricane resistance to damage. 

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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