Hurricane Lab Compares Two House Construction Types in Side-by-Side Test of Hurricane Force Winds

VIDEO/Julie Rochman, Institute for Business & Home Safety: Wind Tunnel with hurricane force winds with shear introduced takes down a house of regular construction while a fortified house still stands.

In a hurricane lab, winds were generated by more than 100 giant fans with shutter-like vents or ‘wings’ that introduced lateral shear into the winds to test and compare the strength of a house of regular construction in hurricane force winds to the strength of a fortified house.

The conventional home took minutes to collapse in 96-mph (155-kph) winds similar to those of a Category 2 hurricane. The fortified house costs about $5,000 more than a house made with regular construction. The fortified house received only minor exterior damage.

The Institute for Business & Home Safety’s (IBHS) state-of-the-art, multi-peril applied research and training facility is located on a 90-acre parcel of land in Chester County, South Carolina.

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