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In today’s world we see first-hand and almost instantly, the devastating after effects of a hurricane. The damage hurricane Harvey did to Texas, hurricane Maria did to Puerto Rico, hurricanes Andrew and Ivan in FL plus the massive damage hurricane Katrina in New Orleans are just a few examples of the carnage hurricanes can leave behind. For people and businesses that are prone to hurricanes, how to protect buildings from damage and installing hurricane proof doors are popular topics.
As far as overhead garage doors go, many business will upgrade from a sectional garage door to a heavy duty overhead coiling door, with the thoughts it will make a difference. But hurricane garage doors are more than just higher strength doors, they employ various measures to protect a building. When a high wind load event happens, all wind load forces are transferred to the overhead door guides. A hurricane rated garage door not only has to handle the dead load or hanging weight of the door but also live wind load, which is the pressure the winds are forcing onto the garage door. This can result in failure at many different points in a standard overhead door. A hurricane rated door will not only involve a heady duty door curtain or door slats, but will also utilize heavier guides, fasteners and mechanics. Hurricane proof doors will employ windlocks that keep the overhead rolling door “locked” inside the guides and heavy duty guides that are engineered to keep the sides of the commercial garage doors from failing.
Hurricane Ivan was one of the strongest hurricanes to hit Florida in the last 20 years. As a Category 5 hurricane, if came across Florida with winds gusting between 120 and 160 miles per hour. Ivan was a slow moving hurricane that set 18 new records including 33 six-hour periods of intensity at or above Category 4, 32 of which were consecutive. Ivan also spawned 127 tornadoes and had one of the highest accumulated cyclone energy ratings (70.38) ever recorded.
Catastrophic building damage occurred across Florida's panhandle when substandard doors failed to resist the force of hurricane Ivan. Even if a single door is lost, internal pressure can blow off the roof and destroy an entire structure. However, in the midst of Ivan's carnage, businesses that used windload designed doors met the storm head on - and survived.
The Lewis Bear Company of Pensacola, Florida took occupancy of their new distribution facility only days before Ivan put their building to the test. Designed to the new Florida Building Code, Holmes & Holmes Architects had insisted that even the building's 20' wide by 14' tall exterior doors be proven to meet mandated 48.5 & 55.7 psf windload requirements. After other suppliers fell short, CornellCookson utilized their exclusive windload configurator to analyze the specific building requirements and supplied fifteen coiling doors constructed and installed to withstand a hurricane's wrath.
Then, just 72 hours after Lewis Bear had begun full operations in their new facility, hurricane Ivan made landfall and Pensacola residents were pummeled by the worst storm in recent memory. Ivan produced sustained winds of 120 mph, recorded gusts in excess of 160 mph and created a storm surge that temporarily redefined the areas coastline properties. In the wake of the storm, property damages skyrocketed past $4.5 billion.
Although Ivan's force was strong enough to blow parked trailers away from their loading docks, Lewis Bear's new building and its inventory was left virtually unscathed. By comparison, their old building a short distance away had not utilized CornellCookson's overhead windload doors and was severely damaged.
"We are very pleased with the performance of the CornellCookson doors. Throughout the area, doors are blown out everywhere and the building we just moved from was destroyed. Here, our $2.3 million of inventory was saved. Being satisfied with the CornellCookson doors is an understatement!" - Roger Weir, Lewis Bear's Operations Manager
As building code requirements continue to demand greater windload performance, proven products will need to evolve to answer the call. Not every door is created equal, learning about exactly what makes the top hurricane proof doors is important, but just as important is a track record that shows they work.
When it comes to the safety and security of your building, especially in extreme conditions, you can trust CornellCookson's expertise and more than 175 years of experience. Don't be left twisting in the wind. Make sure CornellCookson's hurricane tested doors are protecting your next project.
Cornell is the industry leading rolling door, security grille and closure product experts since 1828. To inquire how Cornell's long history of innovation and customer service can help you with your next rolling door project, call 1-800-233-8366!