Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Cyclone-Glazing and Façade Resilience for the Asia-Pacific Region
Stage 1 – Market Study and Code Survey
Project Started: October 2016
Project Completion: December 2017
Funding Sponsor:
Principal Investigators:
Dario Trabucco, CTBUH; Antony Wood, CTBUH; Angela Mejorin, CTBUH; Ray Nakada, Trosifol

CTBUH received $85,800 in funding from Trosifol to embark on an important research project, examining current, state-of-the-art cyclone-resistant façade technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. In this region, megacities are developing to address the demand for additional residential and office space, which calls for the construction of high-rise buildings.

The study analyzed how existing codes and standards could address cyclone-induced risks through façade technologies. To support this research, a steering committee drove the research and evaluated the results.

Funding Sponsor
See Stage 2 – Current Problems and Existing Solutions
“Cyclone-Glazing and Façade Resistance for the Asia-Pacific Region” - Stage 2: Current Problems and Existing Solutions

Project Milestones
2018, April: Research paper published in the CTBUH Journal
2018, January: Final Report Released
2017, October: Research Exhibited at the CTBUH Research Booth
2017, October: Cyclone-Glazing Research Presented at the 2017 CTBUH Conference
2017, October: Video Presented to Delegates at the CTBUH Research Booth
2017, June: CTBUH Research Published in Glass Performance Days (GPD) Conference Proceedings
2017, June: CTBUH Presents, Advances Cyclone-Glazing Research
2017, January: Kick-off Meeting
2016, October: Project Announcement

Climate change is causing an increase, both in frequency and in intensity, of strong windstorms called cyclones, hurricanes, or typhoons, depending on the region in which they occur.

The envelope is a critical component to a building’s performance during a windstorm. Wind-borne debris can typically cause major façade damage, user injury, and contribute significantly to recovery costs.

In 1974, Cyclone Tracy hit the city of Darwin, Australia and in 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit the coast of Florida: they represented the first disaster events which resulted in calls for cyclone-resistant glazing building envelope requirements.

Today, the Florida Building Code, and the revisions introduced since, represent the most demanding building codes in the US, when it comes to impact-resistant façade systems.

The Florida-certified hurricane-resistant façades were in-site tested by Hurricane Wilma, which hit this area in 2005. The “Post-Hurricane Wilma Progress Assessment” and the “Performance of Laminated Glass during Hurricane Wilma in South Florida” studies surveyed buildings that utilized laminated glass systems and were in the path of the hurricane. Eighty-two properties were surveyed, and 71% showed absolutely no damage, with 18% reporting broken glass but no overall glazed system failure, and the remaining 11% gave no response.

Curtain wall damage to the Bank One and Cash America buildings, Fort Worth, Texas; sustained during the tornado of March 2000.

The Asia-Pacific region’s typhoons (or tropical cyclones) represent a serious threat to the economic stability and growth of these countries. The Research Project explored the norms and standards of the major tall building markets within 12 jurisdictions – Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. In this analysis, 7,086 compete or under-construction buildings were examined and more than a half of those (4,569) were located in typhoon-prone areas.

Although jurisdictions like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India have been – and continue to be – affected by typhoons, they have not introduced any kind of requirements to ensure the safety of people and property from these disasters. Of the 12 jurisdictions covered by the research, only two – outside of Australia and New Zealand – have introduced standard testing procedures for typhoon-resistant glazing systems: Bangladesh and the Philippines. Their references are to the US standards, despite their geographic location being closer to Australia.

How much do these economies and populations need to grow before standards are created? The researchers argue that local authorities of Asia-Pacific countries must specify a timeline for the development of their local façade requirements before it is too late.

Contact Information
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