Saturday, November 19, 2011

Building Codes Outdated in Extreme Weather

Extreme weather is becoming the norm and building codes are not keeping up, according to Homeland Security experts in this article:

"According to Munich Re, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, weather related incidents serious enough to cause property damage have risen sharply since 1980. The company says that extreme floods and windstorms have approximately tripled, while the number of days with heavy rainfall in South America, North America, and parts of Europe has also increased."

"Currently engineers build structures to survive a “hundred-year storm,” the term given to a massive weather event that has a 1 percent chance of happening in a year.

The increasing prevalence of these hundred year storm events has led engineers to debate what types of safety measures they need to build into new designs and whether older structures need to be retrofitted."

And finally this comment by an insurance company:

"Munich Re will now offer lower premiums to homes built to resist higher winds. The company has also refused to cover buildings in areas it deems too risk-prone and mandates wider floodplains."

How to make a house resist higher winds? Install Armor Glass certified security film that protects the building's weakest link - its windows - from blowing out. That leads to interior damage (including mold), dangerous flying glass, and roof loss from the pressure. It will also keep out human burglars, another extreme hazard.

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