How do louvre windows fare during strong winds, heavy rain and the odd tropical cyclone?

The true test of a window is not how it performs in light breezes and gentle rain, but rather how well it resists strong winds and heavy, wind-driven rain, a tropical cyclone being the severest of all tests.

The Technical Report on Cyclone Olwyn published by the James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station reveals a few interesting observations on the performance of different window types during the weather event. Measured as a Category 3 cyclone with wind gusts of up to 180km/h, Olwyn passed over Exmouth in Western Australia in March 2015, causing damage to buildings.

According to the report, water ingress from the wind-driven rain was the main cause of damage to buildings in Exmouth with water entering the structure through windows and doors. Examining the performance of various window types, the report noted that sliding windows and doors allowed greater water ingress than other types of windows with the weepholes of sliding windows being one of the most vulnerable areas.

On the other hand, contemporary louvre windows performed well during Tropical Cyclone Olwyn with homeowners reporting only small amounts of water having leaked into the house either between the panes or over the bottom lip of the louvre frame.

Similar findings were reported from studies conducted in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, which passed over North Queensland in 2011. Homeowners who had installed Breezway Altair louvre windows were satisfied with the performance of these windows in keeping rainwater out during Cyclone Yasi, as well as during fine weather to maximise cooling natural ventilation.

Testimonials from these homeowners can be accessed on the Breezway website.

Image: Homeowners were satisfied with the performance of Breezway Altair louvre windows during Cyclone Yasi to keep rainwater out