Tag: building performance
Texas Department of Insurance Windstorm Inspection Program
Are you involved with a building project along the Gulf Coast of Texas in which metal roofing or siding is involved? If so, obtaining a building permit may be subject to compliance with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Windstorm Inspection Program. Here is some information that can help.
What is the TDI Windstorm Inspection Program?
In 1987, the Texas Legislature enacted HB 2012 with a requirement to mitigate losses to structures due to hurricanes along the Texas Gulf Coast. On January 1, 1988, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) began administrating the Windstorm Inspection Program in support of this legislation. The program is centered in Austin, with four other field offices also located along the Gulf Coast.
Where does the TDI Windstorm Inspection Program apply?
The Windstorm Inspection Program applies to all commercial and residential structures located primarily along the Gulf Coast of Texas. TDI has designated specific areas as catastrophe areas, also known as Texas’ First Tier Countries. The affected countries include Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Willacy and certain cities east of State Highway 146 in Harris County (La Porte, Morgan’s Point, Pasadena, Seabrook, Shoreacres).
What is the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association?
The designated catastrophe areas often use Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) as the insurer of last resort for the wind and hail portion of their building insurance. To qualify for wind and hail insurance through TWIA, all new structures plus any alterations, additions, or repairs to existing structures (including re-roofs or roof repairs) located in the designated catastrophe areas must be constructed and inspected according to the building specifications adopted by TDI.
How are Building Permits Affected?
All building work needs to meet the requirements of the adopted building codes in Texas (currently the 2006 version of the International Building Code and the International Residential Code). However, in addition to the codes, the TDI requirements must also be complied with in the designated countries. This is similar to other parts of the country that experience severe weather events (e.g., Dade County, Florida) where additional requirements above the code have been instituted for safety reasons. At the time of building permit application, evidence will need to be shown of TDI compliance in design documents; therefore, many times the local TDI office is contracted first and an application is submitted (Form WPI-1). Then, during construction, a TDI certified inspector (usually an engineer) will inspect the work, as will the regular building inspectors. Compliance will need to be shown with the TDI requirements (Form WPI-8) in order to obtain final sign off and a Certificate of Occupancy.
What Building Products are Approved for Use?
In order to be compliant with TDI standards, building products must be independently tested and shown to be able to withstand different levels of severe weather. For products like metal roofing and siding, the testing needs to include the method of attachment and the substrate type (metal, wood, etc.). Product evaluations are available by product type (such as “Exterior Coverings” for metal siding or “Roof Coverings” for metal roofing) and then by manufacturer all by either contacting a local TDI field office or on TDI’s website: www.texas.gov/wind/prod/index
For more information on this program visit http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wind/index.html or email [email protected]. To find out more about metal roofing and siding products that meet the severe weather requirements, contact your local MBCI representative.
Proper Cutting and Cleaning of Metal Building Panels
Metal building panels, whether for roofing or walls, are manufactured with a long-lasting and durable finish of different types and in many colors, allowing the panels to hold up and look great for decades. However, once they get to the building they may need to be cut to fit a field condition, or they may need to be cleaned either during or after installation for any number of reasons. Innocently doing either, without understanding that doing it the wrong way could compromise the integrity of the finish, can be disconcerting at best or warranty-buster at worst. Here are a few tips for the proper cutting and cleaning of metal panels.
Cutting Metal Panels:
Field cutting of panels is certainly allowed and acceptable to manufacturers and is common, particularly at framed openings. However, there are two things to pay attention to here:
- Cutting Method: If field cutting is required, the panels must be cut with nibblers, snips or shears to prevent edge rusting. Do not cut the metal panels with saws, abrasive blades, grinders or torches. Abrasive saw blades, grinders and torches can leave irregular or rough edges that are no longer coated or finished, thus causing rust and corrosion.
- Cutting Location: All cutting of metal will produce fine particles, or swarf, that will fall from the cut. If this swarf falls on the roof, it can cause permanent staining and, if enough of it accumulates in one place, it could rust completely through the metal roof panel. Therefore, never cut metal panels on the roof or over other metal panels. It is best to cut the panel down on the ground where the swarf can be captured and disposed of.
Cleaning Metal Panels:
Metal panel manufacturers will usually provide information and directions for cleaning. A typical set of cleaning recommendation follows, based on a progression of cleaning levels—start with number 1 and work your way down the list for tougher jobs.
- For simple cleaning, water and mild detergent will often be all that is needed. However, bleach should never be used, since it can change the finish color or interact disastrously with certain metals.
- For water-soluble dirt or other deposits requiring more complete cleaning, a solution of hot or cold water mixed with detergent is appropriate. In a container of water, use a 5 percent solution of commonly used commercial (non-industrial, non-bleach) mild detergent, so as not to have any deleterious effect on the painted metal surface. Use a cloth or a soft-bristle brush for application of the cleaning solution, followed by an adequate rinse with clean water. Alternatively, pressure-washing with a 40° tip is also an option.
- For non-water-soluble deposits such as tar, grease, oil and adhesives, a solvent or alcohol-based cleaner may be required. In this case, since most organic solvents are flammable and/or toxic, they must be handled accordingly. Generally, keep them away from open flames, sparks and electrical motors. Use adequate ventilation, protective clothing and goggles, and read the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of any solvent used for any other specific safety details. The following are among the cleaners recognized by manufacturers for this type of non-water-soluble cleaning:
- Denatured alcohol (ethanol)
- Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
- VM&P naptha
- Mineral Spirits
- Turpentine (wood or gum spirits)
Regardless of the level of cleaning required, never use wire brushes, abrasives, or similar tools that will abrade the surface coating and leave scratches or other finish damage and lead to corrosion. Further, keep in mind that any misuse or abuse of any of the acceptable cleaning agents will automatically void any manufacturer’s warranty for the affected surfaces.
By using the tips above to properly cut and clean metal panels, installers can avoid the problems of corrosion, staining or other surface damage. Thus, the integrity and beauty of the finish is maintained without any impact on the warranty. To learn more about metal panel finishes, cutting, cleaning and warranties, contact your MBCI representative.
The Benefits of Integrating Daylighting Systems with Metal Panels
When metal roofing and wall systems of insulated metal panels, or IMPs, are combined with integrated daylighting and electrical lighting systems (such as with skylights, windows and translucent panels) it can improve occupant wellness and overall building performance. Are you curious if the return would be worth your investment? Uncover the recent advancements in daylighting technologies, the benefits and how to measure your building’s success.
Advancements in Daylighting Technologies and IMPs
In recent years, IMP assemblies have seen significant improvements, including more effective seals and thermal breaks as well as better thermal performance.
A range of novel daylighting products and technologies have been introduced in recent years that aid in the deployment of natural illumination for a multitude of occupancies—maximizing daylighting effectiveness while also maintaining the envelope’s barrier and thermal performance. These tools include pre-engineered, integrated metal envelope and roof solutions with compatible curbless skylights, light tubes, pan-type prismatic skylights, automated dimming controls for lighting, motorized shades and other components.
One example of how new tools are replacing more traditional products is the use of domed and pan-type units with prismatic embossing, which refracts and directs two to four times as much illumination into the indoor spaces when solar incidence angles are more acute, such as in the early morning and late in the day. These prismatic elements also help eliminate “hot spots” and reduce glare and ultraviolet (UV) deterioration from daylighting.
Benefits of Investing in Daylighting
Overall, using the current crop of novel skylight products in combination with a highly thermally efficient base system of metal panel walls and roofing will reduce excessive solar heat gain as they reduce the electrical base load for lighting. Highly diffusing acrylic and polycarbonate lenses and spectrally selective glass openings are very effective for maximizing functional visible light indoors while inhibiting unwanted heat gain. Many of the skylight aperture designs block 85% of infrared (IR) and 99.9% of UV light, which also reduces the unwanted degradation of products and materials inside the buildings. Additionally, the new generation of skylights also optimizes solar harvesting because many of the lenses have a minimal effect on VT.
In this way, the use of skylights with metal roofing and IMPs can be an effective way to meet the requirements of IECC 2012 and state energy codes. The skylights reduce overall electrical loads without adding unacceptable levels of solar heat gain, and their small relative area means the overall roof U-values remain low.
How to Measure the Success of Daylighting
Building teams will encounter a number of key variables that help measure the effectiveness of proposed daylighting designs. The most common (and valuable) daylighting performance metrics in use today include the following:
• Daylight factor
• Window-to-wall ratio, or WWR
• Effective aperture, or ea.
• Daylighting depth
• Solar heat-gain coefficient, or ShgC
• Haze factor
Using the above tools and terminology, building teams can better assess the benefits of daylighting strategies with skylights, prismatic pan-type products and solar light pipes, among others. In particular, these are important for meeting the widely used 2012 International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1 as well as state energy codes and “reach targets” such as green building certifications, the Passive House standard and others.
How to Learn More
The use of building systems combining metal roofing with skylights and integrated lighting provide significant life-cycle performance. Much of this is due to the research and development behind the individual products and materials used for these applications.
For a more in-depth look at daylighting within the context of metal roof and wall systems, please refer to MBCI’s whitepaper, Shining Light on Daylighting with Metal Roofs, which showcases the strong rates of return of using integrated daylighting systems with novel prismatic optics and high-efficiency lighting on metal envelopes with good thermal and barrier performance.