Wind speed line maps changing
As we reported in last summer’s LMA Newsletter article Pitfalls in Mitigating Hurricane Risk, the Florida Building Code has not been fully effective in protecting homes in the Panhandle clobbered by 2018’s Hurricane Michael, nor have mitigation efforts designed to fortify our homes and businesses against such storms.
After a series of meetings this past winter and spring, the Florida Building Commission (FBC) has taken notice and is now taking action. We listened to a recent joint meeting of the FBC’s Structural Technical Advisory Committee and the Hurricane Research Advisory Committee. Here’s some of the key takeaways:
- We have a problem with public officials and consumers believing hurricane rated windows and door should be 100% waterproof and the fenestration industry (windows and doors and how they are arranged on buildings) saying a certain amount of leakage and thus water intrusion into a structure should be expected. For more, read Wind-Driven Rain Tests of Building Envelope Systems up to Hurricane-Strength Wind-Driven Rain Intensity.
- There will be new wind speed maps this year as part of this year’s 2020 Florida Building Code update as a result of Hurricane Michael experience. For more, read Draft Final Status Report: Update and Development of Wind Speed Line Maps for the Florida Building Code, 7th Edition (2020).
- Some final results showing that there’s not a considerable difference in resiliency of modular vs. site built homes in either Irma or Michael. For more, read Hurricane Michael Data Enhancement (Phase II), Performance of Modular Houses and FEMA Recovery Advisory Reviews.
- There’s an ongoing mystery of why damage was similar in Irma and Michael, despite Irma’s area having had higher wind standards and lower storm winds than Michael’s area standards & winds. For more, read the above report.
- There’s an FBC proposed research project that would create a list of enhanced building techniques actionable by builders and others that would technically fall outside of being formal “code changes”. For more, read FDEM_Proposal_Enhanced_FBC_Techniques_Appendix_6-9-20
Please rely on us to help you follow what the FBC is doing and feel free to contact us for more details. Hats off to Dr. David Prevatt of the University of Florida’s Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment who has been a principal part of much of this research and analysis. He has been a steadfast resiliency soldier and we follow his work closely.
LMA Newsletter of 7-6-20