Press Release

Bautex Wall System Stands Strong Against Dangerous Debris Impact at Speeds Greater Than 100 MPH

Bautex Block is key component in wall system that provides structure, envelope, continuous insulation, fire resistance, and air and moisture barrier – all in a single integrated assembly.

A wall system with Bautex Block has more windstorm protection than you can shake a stick – or two-by-four – at. Affirming its durability and superior storm protection compared to other building envelopes, a Bautex Wall System with Bautex Block passed hurricane and tornado debris impact tests with flying colors.

Tests were performed at the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center Debris Impact Test Facility and the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Tests were conducted in accordance with the debris impact guidelines of FEMA P320/P361 (2008) and ICC-500 (2008) for hurricanes and tornados. ICC-500 includes a hurricane building envelope standard that is required by Florida Building Code and Texas Department of Insurance Windstorm Resistant Construction Guide.

“Whether designing structures to withstand the storms along the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico or the plains of Texas and Oklahoma, architects have a new building envelope solution that meets or exceeds storm shelter and safe room requirements,” says Paul Brown, president of Bautex Systems. “Rather than retrofitting existing buildings to provide storm shelters for occupants, which can be complex and expensive, an entire building project can be constructed to these windstorm debris impact standards using a Bautex Wall System. The structure also gains measureable benefits in energy efficiency and fire safety.”

In the tests conducted at Texas Tech University, Bautex Wall Systems with Bautex Block were tested for horizontal debris impact, with the following results:

  • Bare wall meets and exceeds Protocol 1, a hurricane building envelope standard, as required by Florida Building Code and Texas Department of Insurance Windstorm Resistant Construction Guide;
  • Bare wall meets Protocol 2 and ICC-500 standard for hurricane shelters, for sustained hurricane wind speeds up to 225 mph, in accordance with the ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters;
  • With masonry veneer, a Bautex Wall System meets Protocol 3 for FEMA 320/FEMA 361 standard for hurricane safe rooms for wind speeds up to 225 mph.

To test performance under tornado wind conditions, two test walls were constructed: a wall with Bautex Block and finished with brick veneer and a wall with Bautex Block finished with CMU hollow block veneer. These walls received the following test results:

  • Meets protocol 4 for ICC-500 standard for tornado shelters for wind speeds up to 225 mph
  • Meets protocol 4 for FEMA 320/FEMA 361 standard for tornado safe rooms for wind speeds up to 250 mph

The Bautex Wall System and its Bautex Block outperformed many of its competitors that also tested products at Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute. While many wall assemblies constructed with brick or masonry veneer have failed to achieve higher debris impact results, both of the Bautex Block test walls tested successfully with debris impact speeds well over 100 mph, with no failure.

“The industry is always reevaluating how to build in storm prone areas, and we’re proud to provide a well-tested building envelope solution that can provide multiple efficiency and life safety benefits from a single integrated assembly,” Brown says.


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