A Survey of Glazing System Behavior in Multi‐story Buildings during Hurricane Andrew


A focused survey of glazing system behavior in multi‐story buildings in the direct aftermath of Hurricane Andrew was conducted. Seventeen buildings and four building complexes were examined between 26 August and 30 August, 1992. The buildings surveyed spanned a 32 km (19 mile) distance from Miami on the north to Cutler Ridge on the south. With few exceptions, glazing systems performed poorly and damage to building contents was extensive. The following specific observations were made: (1) impacts from windborne debris were a dominant cause of glass failure; (2) wall system anchorages sometimes failed; (3) prevention of 'blow‐through' after internal pressurization significantly mitigated storm damage to building interiors; and (4) outer‐lite‐only failures occurred on some insulating glass units. Results of the survey underscore the vital importance of maintaining the integrity of a building envelope during a severe windstorm. Windborne debris must be considered in the design of architectural glazing systems, as must proper anchorages of glazing systems to building framing members. Copyright © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1099-1794; 1062-8002

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 1994