What is it?
HVHZ stands for High Velocity Hurricane Zones and is part of the Florida building code. If you live in Florida, in Miami/Dade, Broward Counties or Coastal Palm Beach County, you are in an HVHZ. Other states contain similar codes, sometimes with a different name—check with your state building codes and/or licensed contractor.
The ICC (International Code Council) defines the following:
- Hurricane-Prone Regions: Areas vulnerable to hurricanes defined as:
The U.S. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coasts where the basic wind speed in greater than 90 mph (40 m/s) and Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
Wind-Borne Debris Region: Portions of hurricane-prone regions that are within 1 mile (1.61 km) of the coastal mean high water line where the basic wind speed is 110 mph (48 m/s) or greater, or portions of hurricane-prone regions where the basic wind speed is 120 mph (53 m/s or greater; or Hawaii.)
Why should I care?
If you live in an area designated as an HVHZ (or equivalent), then you need to make sure you choose a product that meets these codes, and an installer who is knowledgeable about them.
Hurricanes can cause massive damage, as demonstrated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Hurricane Floyd in 1999, Charley in 2004, and Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005. Flying debris will break normal windows, which can cause a sudden internal pressurization within your home. This is the most common cause for most roof failures.
Do you have more questions about HVHZ? Are there other topics you’d like to see discussed in this blog? Please let us know. We want to be your source for industry information as well as windows and doors.