Designing with tornado-resistant glazing

The May 22nd EF-5 tornado torn a path through Joplin Mo seven miles long and 1/2 mile wide. FEMA is in the city to administer assistance to the disaster survivors.

Designing for unpredictable situations is one of the biggest and most important challenges for architects, engineers, and the building community. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes are seemingly random, but can be devastatingly fierce when they arrive. In the face of such unpredictability, there are some things the industry can count on—improved products, more reliable third-party testing, and increasingly stringent building codes and standards.

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A faster, simpler way to a Level 5 finish

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Drywall is often misperceived as a building material that does not demand the skillful manipulation of a traditional construction material. However, anyone who has worked with drywall knows the product is not so cooperative.

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Designing better commercial fenestration through thermal design


Fenestration—such as windows, curtain walls, window walls, sloped glazing, storefronts, and doors—affects building energy use through four basic mechanisms: thermal heat transfer, solar heat gain, visible transmittance, and air leakage. Product designers, architects, and specifiers must reconcile the interplay of these factors to arrive at, or verify, optimal thermal performance.

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Protecting our historic glazing


According to the National Park Service (NPS), “when historic windows exist, they should be repaired when possible. When they are too deteriorated to repair, selection of the replacement windows must be guided by Standard 6 [of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation].”

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In or out?

Cash department window

While security windows and detention windows may seem to serve the same purpose, the major difference comes down to whether you intend to keep the threat in or to keep it out. The answer to this simple question will influence how to correctly specify the right type of window for a facility.

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From jail to hotel: Windows that work


When baseball superstar Babe Ruth toured Boston’s Charles Street Jail in 1925, he famously quipped: “This isn’t a jail, it’s a hotel”—a prophecy that has since come true. Now known as the Liberty Hotel, this 298-room, high-end hospitality destination retains its architectural heritage with its famed rotunda, jail-themed bars and restaurants, and its historically accurate replacement windows.

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