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OCTOBER 2005

BOARD MEETING

We Currently have 2 Delinquent Accounts
Bill - 2 Delinquent Accounts
The meeting of The Regency Tower Board was called to order at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, 2005 in the Meeting Room of The Regency Tower by the President.

Roll Call - The roll call showed the following Board Members present: Iris Anastasi, Eric Berkowitz, Louise Collins, Fern McBride, Dott Nicholson-Brown, Bill Tennenbaum (on speakerphone) and Pablo Verol.

Secretary Fern McBride
Secretary Fern McBride
Reading of Minutes -
The minutes of the regular meeting of The Regency Tower Board of Directors held on September 1, 2005 were read. Eric Berkowitz made a motion to approve the minutes as read, seconded by Iris Anastasi, unanimously approved.

Financial Report - Treasurer Bill Tennenbaum gave a detailed report reflecting the Association’s financial position as of October 20, 2005. (Reported financial details are available to Regency Tower owners in our newsletter, the “Regency Tower Times”. - editor)

There are two (2) delinquent accounts at this time that have been turned over to our attorney for collection. A motion was made by Pablo Verol to accept the Treasurer’s Report; seconded by Louise Collins, unanimously approved.

Committee Reports - President Nicholson-Brown announced that no Committee Reports were elicited for this meeting.

New Business - President Nicholson-Brown then called for New Business. Click Here to read the New Business.

Announcements - no announcements were forthcoming

Adjournment - A motion was made by Iris Anastasi and seconded by Eric Berkowitz to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m.; unanimously approved.

Fern McBride
Board Secretary

NEW BUSINESS

OCTOBER 2005

Insurance Report
Bill Tennenbaum

Treasurer Bill Tennenbaum Gives Insurance Report
Bill Exposes Insurance Threat
We are currently working on the budget for 2006 and when we changed insurance last March, effective April 1st, we had an option to change the renewal date on our insurance to later in the year (December 1st or January 1st). We were told we could do this but they could not guarantee what the price would be, so we sought prices on it and this is a project that Bob Nagle and I have been working on.

Regency Tower Board President Dott Nicholson-Brown
Dott: Expenses Skyrocket
Maintenance Stays Low
Currently,
QBE, which is the only financially sound company available is quoting an 18% increase if we were to renew now, which would cost us about $10,800 extra if we did it January 1st, from January 1st through June 30th, which is the balance of our policy that we have in existence (a 15 month policy instead of a 12 month policy). However, the problem that we encounter is that we can do that now and eat the $10,800 and call it a loss, but if we wait until July 1st there could be a 25-40% increase, which means it would cost us between $30,000 and $47,500 additional. If we renew it effective January 1st it will cost us about $21,400 more.

A lot of this has to do with what happens with Hurricane Wilma. We will have to wait until next week. The quote we had is good for 30 days (until November 4th). The real problem has been that the reinsurers have been beat to death with Katrina and the other hurricanes. The reinsurers actually absorb 95% of the risk. At this point we are not making a recommendation to the board because we do not know what Wilma is going to do. The carrier we are now dealing with has an A-plus rating.

Dott remarked, “Bill is letting you know that the insurance is going up, either in January or in July. Also, taxes and electric will be going up. Bob, Bill, Ron, Martha and I are working on the budget, which will result in a maintenance increase. We have been told that our building has the lowest quarterly maintenance on the Galt Mile.”

 

Impact Windows October Update - Code Information & Nomenclature
Eric Peter Berkowitz

Construction Committee Chair Eric Peter Berkowitz Updates the Impact Windows Installation Project
Eric - The Miami Protocols
172 units in Regency Tower have impact-rated code-compliant windows either installed or ordered. Impact rated windows were installed in the office several months ago and recently, the exercise room was also protected with Large Missile impact windows. (During Hurricane Wilma, residents whose units still had the old windows huddled in the exercise room to afford themselves adequate protection). The balance of the lobby windows will be upgraded to compliance within the next few months.

The code for impact rated windows in the State of Florida was compiled after Hurricane Andrew wrought havoc across the State in 1992. It has been refined and updated as additional information about the effects of hurricanes on new construction techniques and products has become available. Adopted by jurisdictions around the world with heightened exposure to hurricane damage, the Miami Protocols are the nation's toughest and most comprehensive compendium of protective guidelines for the installation and structural integrity of storm damage resistant products. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, “The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it’s important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas: ROOF | STRAPS | WINDOWS | DOORS | GARAGE DOORS”

Pensacola Beach Condo with non-compliant windows suffered wind damage from Hurricane Ivan
Non-compliant Pensacola Beach
Condo Ripped by Hurricane Ivan!
The dangers that impact rated windows are designed and tested to guard against are wind and debris. The degree of danger posed by wind and debris varies according to the climate, the immediate environment surrounding a structure containing the installation and the location of the installation within the structure. The two glazing products recognized as resistant to hurricane damage and compliant with the post-Andrew codes are small and large missile impact windows. The large missile impact products are stiffer while the small missile impact products are more flexible. While they are both capable of resisting massive debris impacts and hurricane force winds, each product is designed with an eye to protecting against a different primary threat. The more flexible small missile impact products better protect against wind damage than the stiffer large missile impact products. Installation of small missile impact products are commonly termed category 4 installations. Conversely, the large missile impact products better protect against debris than the small missile impact products. Installations of large missile impact products are called category 5 installations. The code seeks to protect the first three stories of a structure from the greater danger posed by debris with large missile rated products. It aspires to protect the structure’s higher floors from the greater wind threat with the more wind resistant small missile rated products.

The Ambassador Condominium in Lake Worth - Non-compliant Window Sourced Hurricane Damage
The Ambassador Condominium
in Lake Worth after Hurricane
The danger from, and susceptibility to, debris depends upon the type and size of the debris native to the local environment and the location of the installation within the structure. This vulnerability is affected by two factors, one major and one minor. The main component is the location’s height above grade. Gravity constrains more massive and heavier examples of debris closer to ground level. As such, installations in the first thirty feet above grade require a product that can effectively protect against more massive elements repeatedly impacting a window. In response, code mandates the additional stiffness inherent in large missile impact products. The second, less important, factor is the location of the installation relative to the corner of the structure. From an engineering standpoint, no two units have identical vulnerability, no two windows have identical vulnerability and no two locations on any single window have identical vulnerability. This vulnerability increases slightly in every window as one travels from the center of a structure to the corner.

These Units are Protected from Hurricanes by the Impact Windows
Wind Damage Condo Catastrophe
The danger from wind is affected by the overall exposure of the structure and the location of an installation within the structure. Beachfront high-rise buildings are primary examples of highly exposed structures. Coastal construction is more vulnerable to wind damage than urban environments wherein buildings protect one another from high winds. Susceptibility to wind damage increases substantially with an installation’s height above grade. In response, the code accommodates installation of the more flexible small missile impact products for windows 30 feet and above measured from grade. As with debris, the dangers posed by wind also slightly increase in every window as one travels from the center of a structure to the corner.

9 lb 2X4 shot at 50 feet per second tests Impact Window
9 lb 2X4 Missile shot at
50 ft/sec tests Impact Window
The dual dangers from both debris and wind are therefore heightened at the corners of a building. The Miami Protocols (upon which our code is based) divides every structure into zones. The zone in which an installation takes place is one of the factors used by the engineer to determine the appropriate product for that location. The bottom three floors of a structure are located within zone 5. A zone 5 designation is also attributed to an area that is 10% of a structure’s shortest available length (about 7 feet for Regency Tower), measured from the corner of the building. The balance of the building falls within zone 4. As such, code stops short of mandating small or large missile impact products for corner locations above the third floor. Instead, it relies on the assessment of the engineer submitting for a permit and the local municipal or county compliance authorities to agree on whether large or small missile impact products are appropriate for installations that include a window within this unique zone. In urban areas rife with potential debris and shielded from high winds, recommending a large missile impact product might be appropriate for a fourth floor corner installation, despite its being located above thirty feet. The recommendation for the same fourth floor corner installation in a structure on the beach would be for the more flexible (and more wind resistant) small missile impact product. The code correctly permits the engineer and the local authorities to ascertain whether any corner installation above the third floor is more threatened by wind or by debris and recommend installation of the product that best mollifies that primary threat. Whether or not the engineer selects a large or small missile product for a unit including a zone 5 corner, the requirements for corner installations dictate that the selected product withstand the greater wind load to which corners are exposed. The N.O.A. (Notice of Acceptance) is predicated on the application of these heightened standards required by installations including a zone 5 corner. Therefore, both category 4 (small missile impact) and category 5 (large missile impact) installations in corner units must meet tougher standards than comparable units at the same height above grade.

Hyatt in New Orleans After Katrina - Wrong Windows
Hyatt in New Orleans After Katrina - Wrong Windows
Following the serial storms of 2004, a substantial number of Regency Tower residents considering code compliant windows requested the Board's help with organizing a group installation to save money and avoid some of the pitfalls warned against by the Florida Attorney General. In addition to the savings a group installation might bring, the vast majority of those residents lobbying Board members for assistance were confused about the products available, the product manufacturers, the integrity of the available installers and post-installation warranty recourse. In response, Dott Nicholson-Brown invested hundreds of hours investigating the products of various manufacturers and ascertaining which ones would best suit the needs of our residents. The engineers responsible for determining which products should be installed recommended two window types. Consistent with code, large missile impact products (category 5) were indicated for installations below thirty feet above grade to better resist the debris usually present in that zone. Similarly, they opted for the small missile impact products (category 4) for installations above thirty feet to better resist the greater threat posed by the wind. Since the code allows for either installation in the corners above thirty feet, we inquired as to the overall protection afforded by the two options. Despite the more expensive large missile impact products being substantially more lucrative for the installers, they recommended that we install the small missile impact windows in every corner above the third floor. Their engineers explained that the greatest danger to the windows in corner units on the beach above thirty feet was incipient wind damage. Since our oceanfront location exposes us to the undiluted full force of hurricane winds, the more flexible small missile impact windows are better able to withstand the extreme negative pressure than the more rigid large missile impact products. Current experience reinforces the engineers’ assessment. Over the past two seasons, while hundreds of windows along the Galt Mile above the third floor were blown out by the wind, none were blown out by debris!

The Tiara Condominium in Singer Island - After Hurricane Jeanne
The Tiara Condominium in Singer
Island - After Hurricane Jeanne
We invited reputable installers to assume direct responsibility to each and every customer. This direct relationship with the installer whose engineer is responsible for determining the appropriate product gave every resident the opportunity to directly research the same factors upon which we based our decision. Rocky Petreccia from Vico Windows, Robin Buckley from Buckley Windows and Mark Pestano from Glass America answered hundreds of questions from Regency Tower residents about the products, the code, installation problems and pricing. Through this direct relationship with the installers, several residents were able to better tailor the original contract to address unforeseen obstacles, such as existing partial installations, requested permit variations, access problems, etc. Board members also answered any questions asked about these concerns. Many residents independently explored using other products and other installers prior to and during the project. Anyone dissatisfied with any of the arranged terms was free to independently pursue code-compliant installations. In fact, several residents asked to have contracts sent, opted out of signing them, investigated the issues independently and then asked to be included again in the next group!

Impact Rated Window Cutaway
Impact Rated Window Cutaway
While devoting hundreds of hours to answering questions about the installations, our greatest challenge was to educate our residents as to the dangers inherent in doing nothing. We needed to overcome the dangerous complacency that continues to distract some of our neighbors from protecting their homes - and ours. We utilized every means of communication at our disposal. As a result, Regency Tower has the highest percentage of protected units on the block aside from new construction like L’Hermitage I, L’Hermitage II and L’Ambiance. Many other Associations such as Coral Ridge Towers East, Galt Ocean Club, Galt Towers, Coral Ridge Towers South and Sea Ranch Lakes in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea have responded to Hurricane Katrina’s wake-up call and are now arranging similar installation projects.

Click Here (On Graphic) for Larger Version of Wind-Borne Debris Regions used for General Construction Products
Wind-Borne Debris Regions
There is also some confusion surrounding the nomenclature used to describe installation locations in different parts of the State. Another “Category” designation used in general construction to determine appropriate wind resistant materials is based on the American Society of Civil Engineers Standard (ASCE 7-98) for 50 - 100 year peak gusts in the State of Florida. Adopted by the International Building Code, they describe general wind loads for specific wind zones and divide the State into Wind-Borne Debris Regions. They are not the “categories” referred to in The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale used to rate hurricanes by wind speed nor are they the “categories” referring to the class of impact glass applicable to zones within a structure. As demonstrated on maps available on the Florida Department of Community Affairs Building Code site, Category 5 refers to a zone that includes the extreme southern tip of the Florida peninsula and the Keys. Category 4 installations are designated for eastern Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin Counties as well as the western sections of Monroe and Collier Counties. The western parts of Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties, along with the balance of the Florida Coast, are designated as Category 3 wind-borne debris regions. Eastern Broward’s Category 4 designation, therefore, refers to the zone within the state in which the product is to be installed.

No Association has disseminated more information about hurricane resistant window products than Regency Tower. Our newsletter and web site, which addressed most of the questions asked by residents during the group installations, are also used by many of our neighbors as information resources. Emails sent to the web site asking for information were responded to expeditiously. Board members personally responded to dozens of questions by residents. Additionally, information was also available through the Galt Mile News and the Galt Mile Community Association web site. Topics discussed on the web site were peppered with links to their sources. Articles in the Galt newsletter end with a recommendation to access the web site for additional information. Information about the topics discussed in this brief is readily available on the internet. Residents have also had access to their installers to address more technical questions. Despite several attempts by a few admittedly confused individuals to mischaracterize facts about the installations, Regency Tower residents remain the most well-informed on the Galt Mile about impact rated windows.


Board Action

Eric Berkowitz made a motion that in accordance with Article XIV, Section C of the Declaration of Condominium, the deadline for all until owners to install code compliant hurricane windows shall be NO LATER THAN JUNE 1, 2006. Fern McBride seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

Eric stated that the windows would need to be ordered far in advance of June 1, 2006 (by February 1, 2006) as manufacturers are overwhelmed with requests.

Proposed Rule to “Grandfather in” existing Hurricane Windows
Bill Tennenbaum

Treasurer Bill Tennenbaum Gives Insurance Report
BILL PROTECTS OWNERS
OF HURRICANE WINDOWS
Bill Tennenbaum proposed the following rule be adopted by the Board: Hurricane window installations, existing as of the effective date of the amendment requiring all owners to install Code compliant hurricane resistant windows, shall be allowed to remain or be grandfathered in until such time as the windows are replaced. Upon replacement, the windows must meet the specifications set forth in the amendments and House Rules, as well as current Code. Seconded by Louise Collins, unanimously approved.

Pablo Updates Riser Project
PABLO UPDATES
RISER PROJECT
A/C Risers Update
Pablo Verol

Except for the delay due to having to recover the A/C closet wall openings, the project is ahead of schedule. All A/C closets are finished. The lobby will be completed next week. The final clean up items will be completed two weeks from tomorrow - 11/4/05.

Louise Collins Clarifies Amendments
LOUISE CLARIFIES
AMENDMENTS
Changes to Amendments
Louise Collins

Louise Collins moved that Item 2 Section C of Amendments be changed as follows:

  • C (3) The words “and all corner units” are deleted.
  • C (4) The words “except for” is changed to “including” corner . . . .

The motion was seconded by Bill Tennenbaum, unanimously approved.

(Notice of these changes were given/mailed to all Association members.)

Fern Opens Door for Decorations
FERN OPENS DOOR
FOR DECORATIONS
Rules & Regulations (Article XIII) Revision
Fern McBride

Fern McBride made a motion that Article XIII of the 2005 Rules & Regulations be revised as follows: The word “seasonal” shall be deleted and the sentence shall read: “DOOR DECORATIONS ARE PERMITTED, BUT MAY NOT PROTRUDE BEYOND THE MAIN APARTMENT RECESS.”

The motion was seconded by Iris Anastasi, unanimously approved.

 

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