Do you have a high-performance window that will stand up to these tests?

During a severe weather event, the most critical factor for increasing the chances of a building’s survival is protection of all the openings to the outside. Once the wind enters the structure, the pressure changes lead to disastrous results.

Impact testing simulates windborne debris striking a window during a hurricane. Within the laboratory setting, this is done by firing a 2×4 projectile at predetermined locations on the window and seeing if there is any penetration.

The cycling portion of the testing ensures that a window having withstood impact by the 2×4 can then stand up to the rapid increases and decreases in pressure within the building during a hurricane.

Spring and summer is prime for severe weather to occur. Most notably, tornadoes are a huge concern, especially in the Midwest. The tornadoes the last few years seem to be occurring more frequently, are bigger in size and are staying on the ground longer. This brings us to the important issue of having a shelter that can withstand the winds and debris of a tornado, hurricanes and other high-wind forces. Recently, Fox Blocks published a quick overview on how to build an ICF storm shelter, check that out with the embedded video below.

Insulated Concrete Forms Build Safer Homes

By using insulating concrete forms for homes across the country, the home becomes a safe haven from tornadoes and hurricanes. This is one of the huge benefits we have always talked about with our type of product. The steel reinforced concrete, which can cure stronger than normal concrete because of the foam insulation, can withstand winds of more than 200 miles per hour, and projectile debris traveling more than 100 miles per hour. There are dozens of eye-witness examples of ICF homes taking EF5 tornadoes head-on with the walls still standing.

There have been lab studies done to prove its resilience to wind and there are stories and real world examples of homes, across the country, that have withstood natural disasters because of the unique attributes of ICF construction.

Stronger than Wood and Steel

Plenty of third party research on testing the strength of our ICF walls versus typical wall with wood and steel studs has been done. The chart below shows the strength of ICFs, so its easy to see why ICFs are left standing after a bout with mother nature.

Axial Capacity – pressure or force placed downward upon the wall from roofs, floors and walls
Wall Bending Stiffness – the strength of the wall structure to resist deflection
Lateral Capacity – sideways movement pushing against the wall due to soil, wind or earthquakes
Deflection – movement within a wall assembly

Type of Wall

Axial Capacity (plf)

Wall bending Stiffness (psf)

Lateral Capacity (psf

Fire Resistance Rating

2×4 Wall Cavity @ 16″ o.c.




30 min-1hr

2×6 Wall Cavity @ 16″ o.c.




30 min-1hr

6″ Core ICF Wall #4 @ 24″ o.c.




3 hours


Topics: Construction Firms, Exteriors, Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), Insulation, Protective Systems - Alarms / Sprinklers / Other, Structured Insulated Panels (SIPS), Sustainable Trends and Statistics, Technology, Thermal Envelope - Building Envelope, Urban Planning and Design, Wall Systems / Curtain Walls, Weatherization, Windows - Glass and Glazing Strategies and Systems, Wind Power

Companies: Fox Blocks

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