Tornado-rated windows help protect Florida emergency response center

The basics: The Pinellas County Emergency Response and Control Center in Clearwater, Fla., is a two-story, 80,385-square-foot operations building designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, with up to 156-mph, one-minute sustained winds, or 190-mph three-second gusts. The $26.1 million building, which earned Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, features 164 tornado-rated windows.

The players: Architect, Mason Blau Associates, masonblau.com; general contractor, Hennessy Construction, www.hcsfl.com; window supplier, Winco Window Co., www.wincowindow.com; glazing contractor, Countryside Glass & Mirror, www.countrysideglass.com.

The glass and systems: Tornado-rated windows designed to sustain extreme velocity storms approaching 195 mph. The modified Series 3350 fixed units, with an average window size of 4 feet by 3 feet, feature insulating glass units with green-tinted low-emissivity laminated and heat-strengthened glass and a polycarbonate interior panel.