AAMA Task Group to Develop Voluntary Standards For Window Performance Under Hurricane Conditions

To ensure more reliable door and window performance in the most extreme wind driven rain conditions, testing is being evaluated by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), to assist in the development of a voluntary standard specification that includes a permissible level of water penetration during these extreme events. Last fall, the AAMA Southeast Region formed a Hurricane Water Penetration Standard Development Task Group, with the specific objective of addressing the water control issue, according to AAMA's certification manager, Dean Lewis.

"In the mid-1990s, AAMA was instrumental in developing hurricane performance standards for impact-resistant windows which were incorporated into building codes for Florida and other coastal regions," states Lewis. "The first priority of those codes was to upgrade structures in order to prevent damage from excessive winds and windborne debris. The ability of newer structures, which utilize impact-resistant windows and glass doors, to better withstand hurricanes has been clearly demonstrated over the last two years," said Lewis.

According to Lewis, AAMA is again taking a leadership role in standard-setting, recognizing that a limited amount of water infiltration through a window or door must be anticipated in hurricane conditions. Cycling test data is being gathered to measure indoor/outdoor pressure differentials due to hurricane wind-gusting and turbulent wind flow.

"At this preliminary stage, the permissible quantity of water that actually passes the inner plane of the product is targeted to be no more than two ounces after 300 pulsating wind cycles. This translates to approximately two ounces of water every ten minutes during a 100 mph hurricane," explains Lewis. "Although it is possible to design a window or door that is leakproof under the most severe conditions, AAMA's goal is to balance performance requirements with realistic design considerations -- and manufacturing costs," concludes Lewis.

For more information about the voluntary performance standard or to become involved, contact Dean Lewis at dlewis@aamanet.org.

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