Kalwall: the hurricane performance standard
Designing dynamic architecture that admits natural daylight even as it minimizes heating, cooling and lighting costs can be daunting... even if you aren't also trying to keep your building from being blown away by a Category 5 hurricane.
A number of factors combined to place 2008 among the more active hurricane years since recordkeeping began in 1945. For the first time, six tropical cyclones in a row hit the U.S. mainland, and a major hurricane formed every month from July through November. Preliminary indications are that 2009 will rank above average as well, with 14 named storms including seven that will develop into hurricanes. And Atlantic storms are predicted to continue this trend for another 10 or 20 years.
Using Kalwall, projects in a number of areas frequented by hurricanes have been keeping both people and property safe over the years. In 2007, Hurricane Dean, which claimed lives across the Caribbean, hammered Jamaica with heavy rain, big surf, and 145 mile-per-hour winds. Businesses were closed, curfews imposed, tourists evacuated. That's when Dean cast his eye on the Life of Jamaica Winchester Business Center in Kingston.
Completed just two months earlier, the 100,000-square-foot Life of Jamaica project was designed with professional offices, retail and commercial space, and warehouse facilities, and hailed as a major contribution to the island's business development. Outfitted with a Kalcurve Kalwall translucent Skyroof, the center rode out the hurricane and not a single drop of water leaked inside.
Meanwhile, the H-E-B in storm-prone Corpus Christi, Texas, part of a huge southwestern supermarket chain with roots reaching back to 1905, is ready for the next big one. The store's 2,719-square-foot Kalwall Wall System features .060 White Hurricane Hi-Impact SW face sheets that meet Miami Dade codes and are capable of withstanding 130-140 mile-per-hour winds per UL 972. A price comparison reveals that achieving the same rating with vision glass would have cost 40-50 percent more. With all this built-in safety, Kalwall still offers H-E-B a 0.29 U-value (1.6 W/m²K) and 15% light transmission.
Kalwall's superior structural integrity meets and exceeds hurricane standards ASTM E1886 and E1996, including the punishing flying debris cannon test promulgated originally in the Florida Building Code. Kalwall has also successfully passed testing to ASTM E331 Water Penetration, ASTM E283-91 Air Leakage and ASTM E330-90 Structural Performance. Whether wind, rain, hail, heavy snow loads or even earthquakes, Kalwall can be configured to stand up to whatever nature dishes out!
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