(NAPSI)—Texas is a great place for companies to do business and developers are building fast to keep up. Texas also experiences extreme weather and forces property owners to think seriously about how their new facilities can endure these extremes.
On average, Texas experiences at least one major natural disaster every year. "Tornado Alley" reaches into Texas, hurricanes frequently cause severe wind and water damage, flooding is common after intense rains and the harsh climate creates severe droughts and wildfires. While Texans are resilient after natural disasters, many buildings don't weather storms as well.
Fortunately, innovative companies and architects create products and designs that ensure new buildings are easier to build, cost effective and resilient.
Five keys for future-proofing a building:
1. Design for resiliency. Merely making sure a building won't collapse doesn't mean it will be up and running after a severe weather event.
2. Understand your climate. Business owners along the Gulf Coast know now more than ever that winds, rains and floods will come back. When building in the Hill Country, wildfires and flash floods may be your biggest threat. Severe storms that spawn tornadoes and devastating winds occur in north and central parts of the state.
3. Plan for day 2. Labor, materials, and time are all in short supply in the aftermath of a weather event. A building that can be resilient in the face of a natural disaster is critical to maintaining your business. Look for building materials and systems that can quickly be put back into place with as little skilled labor as possible.
4. Look beyond current methods. Texas ranchers who formed the backbone of Texas culture were tough, gritty, and knew how to build to last. As our State evolves and our cities continue to grow, so should the materials we use to construct our buildings.
5. Think of your business. Your building is likely the largest single asset your business invests in. Make sure it's built to last and ready to support you when the next weather event hits.
Future-proofing buildings equates to future-proofing Texas businesses. By adapting to the increase in weather extremes, business owners can take a longer view. This is, in fact, driving a renaissance in new construction methods that were designed from the onset to handle the Texas climate.
For example, Bautex Systems, a San Marcos, Texas-based company, developed an innovative building product designed to address the five keys to future-proofing a building. Its wall system is rapidly being adopted by businesses wanting resiliency as a part of their business strategy.
This innovative building materials manufacturer created a single integrated wall system that is installed quickly and efficiently by one trade. It uses Bautex Blocks, large but lightweight concrete forms that make wall construction fast and simple. A fluid-applied air and moisture barrier goes on after the concrete pour to complete the wall system.
The Nueces County Airport's General Aviation Terminal in Robstown required a highly durable, hurricane-resistant design, able to withstand harsh storms and disasters. After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, many airports became critical logistic hubs with runways and terminals often the only way in and out of coastal towns until crews could clean up roads.
This terminal's original design was overly complex with layers of old-school wall assemblies. Simplifying the design and building with Bautex block walls gave the terminal FEMA hurricane ratings, tested to withstand debris impact speed of more than 100 miles per hour, providing critical protection to occupants who may be stranded during extreme weather.
Hot and Humid Regions
Rio Grande Valley Credit Union in Harlingen is in a hot and humid area. The climate challenged building owners to keep building occupants comfortable and energy costs low. The CEO of RGV Credit Union was primarily interested in long-term durability and occupant safety, given its proximity to the coast. Solid, Bautex insulated concrete walls will not degrade over time in this environment and eliminate mold growth.
A wall that's perfectly insulated means less air-conditioning is needed to maintain comfort. When multiplied over the life of the building, the credit union found, building for the climate can also reduce operating costs in the future.
A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Fish Hatchery in Corpus Christi had many project constraints due to coastal protection requirements. The hatchery houses large seawater-filled larval culture tanks. Seawater makes the indoor environment harsh and corrosive, so a design requirement was to have no exposed metal in the walls or roof that would be prone to rust.
The Bautex Block provided the hatchery with an integrated solution: the structure, insulation, and enclosure act as a single product installed by the same workers. It provided all the benefits and performance of much higher-costing systems at a traditional building system cost, saving taxpayer money.
The system's insulation and thermal mass work together to deliver energy-efficient walls that are extremely durable. Unlike traditional insulating products that perform differently depending on climate and degrade over time, the insulation is integral to the block. This ensures decades of high-thermal performance, even in Corpus Christi's harsh marine climate.
Urban environments can be noisy, have poor air quality, and induce stress. While once limited to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, dense developments are sprouting up everywhere across Texas.
As the owner and operator of Texas Surgical Dermatology, Dr. Nguyen wanted to provide patients in his new Spring facility a higher quality experience and a safe, quiet and more comfortable indoor environment. He understood that a well-built working environment would attract and retain high quality employees. Using the Bautex Wall System allowed for a quieter, healthier, and more comfortable space in a cost-effective and practical way.
The bottom line? Future-proofing Texas means embracing a culture of grit, determination, and perseverance to design and construct buildings that are as tough as Texas. Looking to innovative building solutions that were designed by Texans for Texas' extremes, Texas businesses will continue to thrive and survive.