The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has released a voluntary specification for testing and rating building components that will be exposed to tornados and similar extreme wind and rain conditions. The association says this is particularly important given increased tornado activity that has impacted parts of the Midwest and the South during the past few weeks. (In a related story, Wisconsin’s Lincoln Windows was affected this month by a tornado that severely impacted operations.)

AAMA 512-11, Voluntary Specifications for Tornado Hazard Mitigating Fenestration Products, uses existing test methods and other procedures to qualify windows and other glazed fenestration products for tornado hazard mitigation. The newly released document provides a system for rating the ability of windows to withstand impact, pressure cycling and water penetration, which are generally associated with tornado conditions.

AAMA 512 is a voluntary specification that was developed by the AAMA Tornado Hazard Mitigation Task Group and is recommended for buildings heavily affected by tornados.

“The National Climatic Data Center estimates that a series of tornados in the Southeast and Ohio Valley in February 2008 caused $1 billion in damages,” says Gantt Miller of Winco Manufacturing, who chaired the task group that created the specification. “In creating this specification, the intent is that injury, loss of life and damages resulting from tornados and severe weather can be prevented or greatly lessened.”

The testing and performance requirements section of the specification outlines the necessary test conditions for adhering to AAMA 512. According to the specification, test specimens should be tested for anchorage, missile impact, water testing and cycling (for windows used in hurricane-prone zones only).

Visit the AAMA Online Publication Store for more information.


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