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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:

Posted by phcjam at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 20 July 2005
Taking Hurricanes Seriously
Topic: Natural Disasters

AS THE nation rejoices at the passing of another hurricane we should not forget the complacency of some people regarding hurricane precautions - whether in disregarding evacuation notices or simply carrying on with business as usual.

There seems to be a mis-conception that hurricanes less than Category 5 in magnitude are just nuisances and pose no threat; which is far from the truth. In fact, the category system is not only based on a hurricane's wind speed, but also the extent of damage consistent within a specific band of wind speeds. Possible damage to buildings is as follows:

CATEGORY 1: Well-built, light-weight buildings not secured to the ground are likely to be damaged.

CATEGORY 2: Major damage may occur to similar buildings. Damage to roofing material, windows and doors may occur on other buildings.

CATEGORY 3: Small buildings may be structurally damaged.

CATEGORY 4: Complete failure may occur to roofs of small buildings. Otherwise, extensive damage may occur to roofing material, windows and doors.

CATEGORY 5: Considerable damage may occur to roofs; severe damage to windows and doors; and small buildings may be overturned or blown away.

Of course, this does not include the associated effect of landslides, mudslides, flooding, storm surges, falling trees or other debris. So, the potential for destruction exists with every hurricane and should not be taken lightly. It is much better for us to err on the the side of caution and be safe, than be sorry for not doing so.

I am, etc.,


Managing Partner

PAUL HAY Consultants

15a Cassia Park Road

Kingston 10

Posted by phcjam at 6:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 March 2011 8:07 PM EDT

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