Funding May Bring Growth for Hurricane Glazing Applications
April 14, 2009
The recently passed federal stimulus package may just bring some
good news for commercial construction projects requiring hurricane-
and impact-glazing systems. According to David Rinehart with DuPont
Glass Laminating Solutions there are three prime areas that could
benefit from stimulus dollars.
One area, he says, involves federal applications that require both
bomb-blast mitigation and hurricane protection, such as military
bases, many of which are located in hurricane-prone regions. According
to Rinehart, there may soon be a need to build more military-base
housing for troops returning to the United States; these applications
will require impact protection.
In addition, Rinehart says federally funded medical centers, such
as VA hospitals in hurricane zones, may also wish to retrofit existing
locations and build new facilities. These would require hurricane
Educational facilities are the third area that could benefit from
"Florida in particular is receiving a significant amount of
funding," Rinehart told USGNN.com. "While not all
of it will go toward construction, the state is looking to earmark
about half [for building or retrofitting] schools."
With the prospect of increasing construction that would require
hurricane protection, glass fabricators and glazing contractors
in these regions are well positioned to also benefit. Rinehart says
it's important for glass companies to know and understand the code
requirements for the different areas. He explains many companies
often equate hurricane-requirements to the Miami-Dade code.
"Miami-Dade is high-velocity and only Southeastern Florida
is subjected to requiring those systems," says Rinehart. "There
are other systems on the market that can withstand hurricane requirements
for areas not required to meet the Miami-Dade code."
Rinehart adds that, with Florida's construction market particularly
slow, now is a good time to explore opportunities outside that state;
areas such as Texas, New Orleans, the Carolinas and even Hawaii.
"In these areas the requirements are not as stringent as South
Florida," says Rinehart.
But before a hurricane system can hit the market, it must be tested
to ensure maximum protection. Rinehart says that since it will take
some time before the stimulus funding sees full growth, now is the
right time for companies to start testing and preparing their systems.
"Testing is a long process, so now is a good time [for companies]
to begin doing so to ensure the system will meet the requirements
for individual areas," says Rinehart.
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