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Letters
Thursday, 30 August 2007
Hurricanes and Roof Design
Topic: Natural Disasters
Dear Editor,Your article entitled ”’Dean’  sparks concern over building code rules, enforcement” published in Business Observer on Wednesday 29 August 2007 is generally consistent with two relatively recent US reports on hurricane damage.  This suggests that the problems discussed are not local in nature.In March 2006, the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues, Inc. [RICOWI, Inc.] published a report entitled “Hurricanes Charley and Ivan Wind Investigation Report” which stated that “generally roofing installed according to the latest codes resisted damage from the winds”.  It also noted that roof edging needed to be securely attached and potential damage from wind-borne debris needed to be addressed.In June 2006, the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] published a report entitled “Performance of Physical Structures in Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita: A Reconnaissance Report” which made 23 recommendations for “stricter adherence to existing building standards, model building codes and good building practices, and a greater recognition of the risks posed by storm surge”.  Three of the more notable recommendations are: (a) to develop risk-based surge maps to guide in the design of coastal structures, (b) to provide guidance in the use of asphalt shingles, metal sheeting, and membrane roofing, and (c) to consider licensing and continuing education of roofing contractors.One difference is that there is no recommendation to abandon all roofing for concrete slabs.  In fact, membranes used to waterproof concrete roofs are also subject to damage and aggregate sometimes used to protect these membranes can also be the air-borne debris that damages neighboring buildings.  Also, undergraduate studies at the Caribbean School of Architecture indicate that typical concrete roofs transmit more heat than a similar timber roofs, with three-times the peak heat-flow: which enters buildings in the late afternoon, making it undesirable for residential construction.  So, persons considering installation of concrete slabs, for hurricane protection, should also expect increased use of fans or air-conditioning, resulting in higher monthly ‘light’ bills. Paul HayManaging PartnerPAUL HAY Consultants Strategic Facility Planning and Design Office Automation 16 Edinburgh AvenueKingston 10Jamaica, W.I. tel: 1 (876) 923-8882cel: 1 (876) 324-4274fax: 1 (876) 925-3373 web: www.phcjam.come-mail: paul.hay@phcjam.com

Posted by phcjam at 12:01 AM EDT

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