North Carolina Clarifies Windborne Debris Protection

August 9th, 2011 by DWM Magazine

If you sell products into North Carolina you should know that a Windborne Debris interpretation was issued recently by the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDI).

A question was asked: Is windborne debris protection required for replacement windows in exterior walls of structures located in the windborne debris region as defined in NC building Code, Section 1609.2 and NC Residential Code, Section 202?

The interpretation is as follows:

a) When replacing only a glazing panel and not an entire window in a double hung or casement type unit:

No unless the existing window is designed for windborne debris protection in which case the replacement panel is required to provide windborne debris protection. The glazing panel is considered repair and can be repaired with a like material.

b) When replacing only a window sash and not an entire window:

No unless the existing window is designed for windborne debris protection in which case the replacement sash is required to provide windborne debris protection. The sash is considered repair and can be repaired with a like material.

c) When replacing a window but not removing the existing window frame:

Yes. The window unit is considered new construction and must meet the requirements for new construction.

d) When replacing a window and the existing window frame:

 Yes. The window unit is considered new construction and must meet the requirements for new construction.

e) When replacing a store-front glazing panel in an existing window frame:

Yes. The glazing panel is considered new construction and must meet the requirements for new construction.

Additional information, including illustrations for requirements regarding windborne debris protection, is available by viewing previous interpretations posted on the NCDOI website.

The effective date for the North Carolina codes is September 1, 2011,with a mandatory effective date of March 1, 2012.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association sent out an alert to its Southeast members regarding the clarification and members with additional questions were instructed to contact the association.

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  1. Following the above clarifications is not a problem. I do question the understanding of the recipient of the upgrade to the storefront mentioned in point “E”. When replacing storefront glass with impact rated glass there may be difficulties with the glazing bead/legs (because impact glass is thicker) and the existing anchorage. This is my point – just because an existing storefront not designed for impact glass recieves impact glass replacement this does not make the installation an impact rated installation. Typically an installation meeting impact requires an increase in the anchorage pattern and a stronger anchor than used in typical construction. Impact rated designs also allow for increased frame coverage on the glass (bite) and the existing frame does not provide this. bottom line ids the replacement is better but not an Impact Rated Package. thanks, tom

  2. as the article says:
    ” Yes. The glazing panel is considered new construction and must meet the requirements for new construction”

    Understand that there are more ways than one to achieve these requirements.

    Yo can always replace the glazing in kind. and then add a roll shutter or accordion shutter, screen etc.
    to fulfill impact and wind load requirements.
    In additions this can add energy, privacy and security benefits beyond the original window.

    Joe – Alutech United

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