Security issues represent one aspect of the increasing demands being placed upon the building skin. Burglary, bullets, bombs, and Mother Nature’s missiles (windborne debris resulting from hurricane winds) all represent an escalating threat to the building envelope. Enclos continues to play a leading role in the development and application of risk-mitigating facade technology with respect to security issues. We were the first in the United States to undertake full-scale bomb-blast testing, even before the events of September 11th, 2001. This pioneering work in blast damage mitigation led to a series of federal courthouse projects for which Enclos was called upon to develop and provide blast-resistant facade systems.
In addition, the firm has applied its R&D capabilities to the hurricane problem on the eastern seaboard. Eight unique products have been developed and tested in conformance with South Florida building codes.
Enclos has developed and tested blast-resistant facade and curtainwall systems for over 10 years, with built applications on courthouses, embassies, and a wide range of public and private buildings. Blast engineering is performed in-house, where we produce custom systems to specified blast loads.
Our in-house engineering teams have developed an analytical process for blast design that includes the use of commercial analytical tools as well as our own proprietary software developed specifically to facilitate blast analysis. Full-scale blast tests are used to validate the design development process.
Impact-Resistant Facade Systems
Hurricane Andrew blasted its way through South Florida in 1992 at 164 miles per hour, causing 23 deaths and $26.5 billion in damage. In response to hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, Miami-Dade building officials have developed and adopted the most demanding building codes in the world when it comes to impact-resistant facade systems. Enclos has responded aggressively with the development of facade products that meet or exceed these demanding requirements.
Mandatory pass/fail testing requirements include small and large missile impact testing, and cyclic positive and negative pressure testing. Three specimens must survive the test with no crack longer than five inches and hole through which a three-inch sphere can pass. Enclos now provides eight different products that Dade County has certified as meeting its stringent codes. These wall types include curtainwall, strip and punched window wall systems with various mullion widths and depths.
In 1999 Enclos designed, fabricated and installed a blast resistant curtainwall to heighten the level of protection for the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse in Las Vegas. The courthouse was the first building in the United States designed to use full-scale mock-up testing to validate the performance of a curtainwall design prior to construction.
Testing for the Las Vegas Courthouse was executed at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Similar testing programs conducted include six full-scale tests at government facilities on mockups as large as 23 feet by 33 feet. This testing has provided a unique opportunity for Enclos to refine its blast-resistant facade technology as well as its delivery strategies for projects incorporating this technology type.
Federal, state and local government building projects have been a primary market for Enclos for well over a decade. The demand for Enclos services is partially in response to the advanced blast-mitigation facade systems the firm is able to provide. With in-house blast analysis capability and an extensive track record of blast research, development and testing, Enclos is optimally positioned to develop facade solutions customized to the most demanding security requirements.