Silicone Sealants from Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich. (www.dowcorning.com/construction), are adding strength to the windows of a new luxury hotel in hurricane-prone Florida. The Westin Diplomat Hotel and Spa, Hollywood, relies on the sealants for critical weatherproofing and to provide structural integrity for nearly 250,000 ft2 of impact-resistant glazing in the 39-story complex. The building was completed under the South Florida Building Code, said to contain the toughest wind and impact-resistance standards in the nation. The sealants were also used for glazing in more than 200,000 ft2 of meeting and convention space, offset by a five-story glass atrium. Dow Corning 995 Silicone Structural Adhesive was used for the capture window systems in rooms and suites.

On the Diplomat project, all areas 30-ft above ground and below must meet large-missile impact requirements. To meet the specs, engineers used a 5/8-in. laminate system with two heat-strengthened lites, and a three-layer inner film. Windows higher than 30 ft follow small-missile impact standards so designers chose 9/16-in. laminated construction with a two-layer film. In all of the perimeter joints is Dow Corning 790 Silicone Building Sealant. Engineers also used the company's 795 version, said to have excellent adhesion, tensile strength, and movement capability, important properties for withstanding wind cycle loads and missile impacts. The sealant does double duty as a structural support and weather seal. It's estimated the hotel lobby area alone uses more than 42,000 lineal ft of sealant.