Preparing for the Storm: Window and Door System Provides Creative Options with Added Value—integrated Hurricane Protection.

During the past decade, a plethora of new building products have provided architects with an ever-expanding selection of technologically advanced materials that both enhance the architect’s aesthetic vision and contribute to the integrity of the building envelope and interior environment.

In the area of hurricane protection, WISP Window and Door Systems is not only impervious to the effects of high winds, driving rain and airborne debris, it can be deployed from the inside, without ladders, hammers or special equipment. WISP’s unique aluminum frame is particularly well suited for use in metal-frame and metal-clad buildings in coastal regions where high winds and intense storms often challenge the integrity of the building envelope. The WISP system’s patented components are designed to work as a unit.

To ensure that all of the components in the WISP system operate together to produce optimum results, we engineered the window frame: beefing it up to a robust 6 inches to fit flush to the drywall in most applications. Using heavy-gauge extruded aluminum, our engineers fabricated the frame with industrial-strength thermal breaks a full 24-mm wide and double-sealed joints in each corner, utilizing a foam gasket and liquid seam sealant. A deep sill pan in the bottom captures thermal condensation and rainwater, and channels it away from the interior of the building through a sloped weep system fabricated into the sill.

Patented side guides retain the storm shade, locking it into place if impacted. The tested storm shade, made from the same tough, flexible, tightly woven synthetic fiber used in radial car and truck tires, is finished with a specially formulated coating that makes it weather resistant, water repellent  and pliable, with the strength and the flexibility to deflect wind-borne debris propelled in hurricane-force winds of up to 205 mph. The shade is translucent, allowing light to illuminate the interior while the shade secures the building from elements of a severe storm.

All of our windows and doors are fabricated with conventional 3/4-inch insulated glass. In the event the glass is broken, the storm shade prevents wind-driven water and debris from entering the building envelope. After the storm, cleanup is quick, easy and affordable since any local glazer can replace the glass. LoE3- 366 (low E cubed-366) performance glass is available as a low-emissivity option.

Every Day Benefits

WISP windows and doors provide everyday benefits as well. The storm shade was also designed to
deflect significant solar heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. The translucent shade filters the light, blocking harmful UV rays to help prevent furnishings from fading. When not in use, the shade rolls neatly into place inside the head of the window. The system requires very little maintenance; if necessary the storm shade can be cleaned easily with a non alkaline-based cleaner and warm water.

The precise construction of WISP windows and doors makes them ideal for use in metal-framed and metal-clad buildings.

Our engineers designed the WISP frame to work with the tight tolerances achieved by metal fabricators, employing precise tolerances of 1/8-inch (vertical) and 3/32-inch (horizontal) to create a very rigid exterior frame strong enough to sit directly on the sill-plate of an opening without racking. The larger frame also lessens the gap space around the window, which in turn provides potential cost savings. It requires less caulk or fewer shims than a 3.25-inch depth vinyl or aluminum window. No marble stoops or drywall returns are necessary to trim out the opening, although the opening can easily be finished with moldings for a traditional appearance. The frame jam is pre-punched for ease of installation and does not need anchors in the sill on units under 5 feet wide. WISP windows and doors can be installed directly into metal cladding installation systems. No flanges are needed for a traditional installation, but a Florida flange is available for flush mounting WISP windows to an exterior façade. And unlike conventional windows, WISP window systems can be installed from the inside, giving the installer the option to work from a solid floor rather than an exterior scaffolding.

WISP door systems have been engineered with the same attention to detail. The two-panel, sliding-glass doors glide quietly and effortlessly on special rollers designed to protect the operating system from the corrosive effects of saltwater. The storm shade has been counterbalanced to distribute the weight evenly all the way up, enabling it to move smoothly up and down with ease.

WISP Window and Door Systems can be grouped, stacked or mixed-andmatched to create a custom “window wall” with built-in storm protection that’s ideal for storefronts, restaurants and commercial, multistory structures, as well as single-family residences. Architects designing with metal can add curves, eyebrows and contours by shaping the cladding material around the window opening. All WISP windows and doors are custom built to specification and can be custom sized in increments as small as 1/4 inch. WISP windows and doors are available in bronze or white aluminum finishes. Matching aluminum muntins can be custom placed into the insulated glass panels to add depth or style.

Automated WISP shades

Home Manager ST, our proprietary, new, soon-to-be web-based interface program, allows owners to deploy their WISP systems electronically. The affordable, wireless and cord-free system can be accessed through a web-based interface using a computer or Android smartphone. It can be programmed to operate the shades, individually or in groups, and, if desired, control compatible lights, sensors and thermostats. Motorization kits for the WISP Window and Door System will be available after June 1, 2011, and can be easily installed without tools.

WISP Window and Door Systems have been certified by NAMI, are recognized by the International
Hurricane Protection Association, are listed on the Florida Product Approval database and comply with local and state building codes.

Fred Higgins is the senior product engineer for WISP Window and Door Systems, Pensacola, Fla.

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