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Old 09-10-2019, 09:24 PM
 
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You can build a hurricane-ready home—
But you can’t do it for cheap—

The only time we were in Mexico we went to Acapulco and then drove (on tour buses) overland to Mexico City...
Plenty of people in Acapulco were living in houses made of flattened metal drums of oil, large cardboard sheets (from shipping boxes), and woven palm fronds—
Now Acapulco is not really hurricane territory but it can still have storms and certainly rain—
And of course these homes had nothing like electricity and the only running water available was the gutters...

Areas of the Bahamas are like that and somewhat better—
But they certainly aren’t reinforced concrete w/foundation steel sunk into bedrock...

People are poor—they don’t have the resources to pour that type of money into a hurricane-proof house...
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,399 posts, read 7,249,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
The Monolithic Dome house can withstand a lot of force.
https://www.monolithic.org/domes
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
FL, probably. The Bahamas? No, not even close. Have you seen the latest crime statistics?

To the "question" at-hand;
Concrete! All of it concrete! The unfortunate thing with the Bahamas is it's flat; and Dorian sat on top of it for almost 48hrs. A lot of the other Caribbean islands are "mountainous"- elevations can climb to 1000' above sea level. These hills provide some protection from direct hits (based on actual location and direction of hurricane).

I'm in the islands quite often- have seen the destruction from past hurricanes. Those that fair the best are those that are built entirely of concrete. Not just walls; but roofs as well. And those that have roll shutters keep windows intact also. The most unfortunate part of rebuilding is "island time". It takes forever to rebuild/repair because the people are either lazy/unskilled/underpaid/or just don't give a damn- maybe Freeport and the Abacos will be different this time because there is so much destruction.

I for one would commit to going and help facilatate rebuilding- but with so little resources it will just be a quagmire of humanitarian aid and political hysteria.


As a kid, I lived in the Space Coast area of Florida. Our house was a concrete slab house. We had gone through 2 or 3 hurricanes, and our home never had any damage. Not even the windows, because my dad had boarded them up.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:00 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
if there is already solution, why isnt everyone there doing it already? seems the extra investment will pay for itself in a few seasons...
After Hurricane Andrew hit the east coast of Florida the building codes were changed effective 2003 and new construction had to include hurricane shutters. The first house we owned in Cape Coral was built in 2003 and when Hurricane Charley came through in 2004 we didn't have a bit of damage other than a sapling tree that fell down.

With Irma I had purchased my house but had not moved in yet. It was built in 1970 and was all CBS construction (concrete, block & stucco) for those who aren't familiar with Florida builds. The roof was 21 years old, the windows 48 years. While Irma wasn't a direct hit to Cape Coral it was close enough that there was damage to some homes and the power was out for a full week. Once again no damage except for a small tree. My roof was replaced in 2017 with the new hurricane standards and I'm having impact resistant windows put in the end of this month. The only thing I still need to do to be completely prepared is replace the garage door and get a generator. Here in Florida the biggest PITA after a hurricane, for most people, is the lack of electricity for long periods of time.

Houses can be built to withstand hurricanes and new construction requires it here in Florida. I'm not sure what the rules are in other hurricane prone states like NC. I saw something on ABC Nightly News last night about a house in the Bahamas that had its windows blown in by the winds from Dorian which led to the pouring rain and storm surge coming right in.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Just the outside structure is concrete, inside is the standard wood/metal framing and drywall. No reason for the interior walls to be concrete.

Florida has numerous concrete/CBS houses, not cost prohibitive at all.
That is a good idea, but home renovation is just not a thing in Taiwan. Like they don't even repaint their own rooms.

That's not entirely true, as I've noticed a recent trend of updating old buildings, but my God is it noisy and labor-intensive. Lots and lots and lots of pneumatic hammering.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:59 PM
 
Location: sarasota
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Two general observations.
I think builders here in the US are prone to using the same old building methods without exploring new ideas. While doing research I was struck by the variety of new innovative building products from other countries (canada, etc) that arent even thought of here. 2x6 instead of 2x4; foam insulation; thermal wrapping; waterproofing materials in the wet areas, such as bathrooms; plastic piping instead of copper tubing; metal roofing, and many others.

Also, it seems than other than older homes being extensively damaged due to wind damage and flooding, the biggest problem seems to be losing electricity for extended periods of time, and I can't understand why we havent been burying utilities for the last forty years.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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In our area, we have occasional hurricanes but we also have earthquakes, so concrete doesn't work all that well.

There have been code upgrades since the early eighties addressing various methods for hurricane resistance. If I could, I'd invest in Simpson fittings, but they are a privately held company. The new as well as the earlier codes require loads of Simpson fittings. Those are still required and now the newest code requires braced walls and increased foundations.

There's probably 30% to 40% more materials now required to build a structure in our area than would have been necessary forty years ago.

We've been contemplating building a new house, if we do, I'd like it to have operable window shutters although it's pretty hard to protect a building from a hurricane force flying coconut. Roof corners get continuous connections from top to foundation and foundations are a lot stronger than they were before, but full hurricane force for an extended time like the Bahamas just experienced, the building would have to withstand flying trees, cars, etc., etc. as well as just the wind itself.

Last edited by hotzcatz; 09-11-2019 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,798 posts, read 49,589,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoman_6 View Post
Two general observations.
I think builders here in the US are prone to using the same old building methods without exploring new ideas. While doing research I was struck by the variety of new innovative building products from other countries (canada, etc) that arent even thought of here. 2x6 instead of 2x4; foam insulation; thermal wrapping; waterproofing materials in the wet areas, such as bathrooms; plastic piping instead of copper tubing; metal roofing, and many others.


What rock have you been living under? All of those things are used here in the US. A lot of it is regional- what works well/better in one area of the country may not work so well in others, or isn't required.


This is also part of the equation that a lot of people don't realize- cost is directly related to availability. When this country was being "born" there was an overwhelming supply of timber- it was so grossly available why wouldn't you build with it? The SW of course kinda lacks sufficient timber for building- so they used what was readily available- Dirt! They made adobe houses.


As for the Bahamas, its kinda a mixed bag- they only thing that has to be imported for concrete is Portland cement- they have an abundance of all other ingredients. Timber isn't so abundant= however, the islands are less than 100mi from the mainland; so shipping those types of materials is not a huge added expense- except for the tariffs and taxes.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:12 PM
Status: "The beach Life" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
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Builders build homes to code. If you want the home to exceed the existing code that is up to you when you have the house built. You can also upgrade a home over and above existing code. Most people will not pay for a home that exceeds the existing building codes.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:19 PM
 
884 posts, read 241,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
I imagine something like a pyramid in overall shape and material on high ground could do it?
It is called Miami-Dade county building code in the US. It works.

In The Bahamas they have a code that all new construction must withstand 200 miles per hour wind.
You could notice in the footage from the air from The Bahamas after Dorian - that the whole subdivisions of houses are still standing pretty intact among complete and utter destruction- except that just one side of the roof shingles are missing. They did perhaps took some water- but otherwise amazingly they were still standing after cat 5 Dorian’s direct hit.
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