The flexing of a bus body wouldn't concern me too much since there is a long line of glass on either side of that "flexing body" already.
Seems kinda silly to worry about that.
My biggest concern with home windows would be the vibrations associated with the bus. A house doesn't typically have to deal with pot holes and speed bumps
. Then again... Now that I think on it, mobile homes and modular homes have regular windows and they don't break when being moved from point A to point B. So it appears my concerns are pointless!
So, when thinking about using vinyl clad windows... Safety should still be of some concern. Aren't some windows rated for hurricanes? Especially on the east coast along Florida! They're always getting hit. I think there is a rating called the Dade County Rating that is one of the most stringent when it comes to building materials used for homes in hurricane zones. You may want to ask about it in your local big box stores.
Otherwise, there should be a corresponding rating for people in tornado areas (one would hope so!). I realize glass doesn't stand a chance against a direct hit from either storm's force, but there is a ton of research on building materials made to better withstand glancing blows from debris.
I guess using typical home windows would come down to size and cost. Size would only matter if you're using the window as a possible escape hatch. And if you find the size you want, what's the cost versus a similarly sized RV window?
Smitty, please do let us know how things work out for ya. I could see you opening an entire new perspective on the shape of skoolies!
P.S. - has anyone thought of using the rear windows out of old rear engine buses? Place one on each side near the front and you'd have a lot of view, a good safety glass, and built in escape routes in case of an accident. Or are they just energy vampires too?