If the forecast is accurate, 2017 will bring a potentially damaging Atlantic hurricane season. Seven hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or stronger, and three major hurricanes with winds of 129 mph or stronger are predicted.1 This storm activity could be higher than the 30-year average.2
The trouble with the forecast is that no one knows how many of the tropical storms or hurricanes expected to develop from June 1 to November 30 will actually hit the United States. While it’s impossible to know for certain if a hurricane will come ashore, even a weak tropical storm with sustained winds of less than 74 mph can cause significant property damage and threaten human life, particularly if the storm moves slowly.
Therefore, commercial property owners and managers considering investments in new construction or remodels of existing buildings should work with a contractor to implement wind-resistant construction techniques and products. Exterior ceilings are vulnerable during hurricanes, but special-performance solutions are available to ensure your building, and those who inhabit it, remain safe in the toughest weather conditions.
From parking garages to sheltered walkways to covered entrances, exterior ceilings are an essential element of how we design and build today. They must complement the design of a commercial structure while remaining functional in a wide range of wind, temperature and moisture conditions. USG provides exterior ceilings for use in environments not directly exposed to the weather. These systems combine traditional modules, elegant linear pans or metal panels with a specially engineered suspension system to create dynamic ceilings featuring clean, contemporary planes.
Most importantly, USG exterior ceiling systems perform at the highest level and are built to stand up to coastal storm conditions. But don’t take our word for it. USG has four Notices of Acceptance (NOAs) from Miami-Dade County, Florida, for our exterior ceiling products. The NOAs cover:
Miami-Dade County has some of the strictest building codes in the country because of the severe weather the county faces, especially during hurricane season, making NOA recognition a significant indicator of weather readiness. The USG Paraline® Plus and USG Drywall Suspension systems are approved by Miami-Dade up to 171 mph. The USG Celebration™ Snap-In ceiling system is approved by Miami-Dade up to 176 mph, and the USG Celebration™ Torsion Spring system are approved by Miami-Dade up to 170 mph.
These USG exterior ceiling systems work by strengthening connection points to minimize structural risks. The construction technique can help commercial building owners and property managers avoid expensive storm damage. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused an estimated $4 billion to $6 billion worth of damage in insured losses, with $3.5 billion to $5 billion of that total caused by wind.3 It is more cost-effective to implement hurricane-resistant exterior ceiling systems during initial construction, but existing structures can be retrofitted for greater wind resistance and structural reinforcement as well.
1Jon Erdman and Linda Lam, “2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast Update Calls For An Above-Average Number Of Storms,” Weather.com, May 20, 2017, https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2017-hurricane-season-forecast-atlantic-colorado-state-the-weather-company-may.
3Tom Jeffery, “Flooding and Damaging Wind Were Most Destructive Natural Hazards in 2016,” CoreLogic blog, February 2, 2017, http://www.insurancejournal.com/blogs/corelogic/2017/02/02/440612.htm.