June marks the start of hurricane season, and hurricane preparedness is a number one concern for residents in areas affected by storms. Unsecured objects coupled with 120-200 mph winds are likely to hit buildings and homes threatening property as well as lives. For this reason, building materials are scrutinized for their durability and how securely they are fastened in place. For example, ensuring your fence post foundations are underground 3 feet and secured in concrete is just one of the standards common in hurricane prone areas.
The International Code Council (ICC) collaborates with ICC NTA to offer product testing on building materials. The Hurricane Missile Impact Test simulates the flying debris, big and small, accounted for in windstorms as well as the likelihood that an impacted material would break and become another flying object. It is conducted in a controlled space using a 2”x 4” cannon and launching lumber at varying speeds towards the tested material. Passing this rigorous review gives your building product credibility with both consumers and regulatory agencies and it is most common with windows and garage doors.
ICC NTA tested 6.5-inch SIPs in the national laboratory in 2018. This video shows the impact test applied to the SIP. The results demonstrate how structural insulated panels offer not only a strong, resilient-to-impact material, but also that the impacted oriented strand board (OSB) showed minimal signs of splintering to become a contributing hazardous object. Another equally important evaluation in testing is the penetration depth. Every hole in a structure is another vulnerability. The tested SIP was not penetrated by the 2x4, thus passing ICC NTA’s test and earning the 2020 Florida Product Building Code Approval for High Velocity Hurricane Zones for both walls (report FL28131-R1) and roofs (FL30056-R1) Building with SIPs delivers a sturdy, superior envelope defending against structural damage and the deluge accompanied by hurricanes. With their ability to withstand impact or taking minimal damage, SIPs make an ideal choice in regions with exceptional storms.
Pictured to the left is a single family SIP home in Ramrod Key, Florida. This award-winning home was built with SIPs tested and approved for 200+mph winds and saved the builder the additional cost associated with projects in a Hurricane Coastal Impact Zone. In 2017 Hurricane Irma swept through the Florida Keys as a category 4 storm. The battering winds and rains caused unprecedented damage to property, but this SIP-built home endured with very minimal damage.
SIPA compiled 14 short videos summarizing responses to typical questions about SIP designs. For short video responses on the advantages to SIP design, take a look at the snippets on Strength and Durability. For the full list of Common Objections to SIP Design videos, visit our Selling SIPs: Benefits and Common Objections page.
For much of the southeast United States and certainly those areas along the Gulf Coast, there is nothing more daunting than losing your home and the damage from objects hurled by hurricane winds. Not only do SIPs score well with builders in being a durable material, but the occupants of a SIP home are especially comforted knowing their residence is resilient to the wind and rain in additional to pesky, flying debris.
For more information on ICC NTA’s Hurricane Missile Impact Test, visit their website.