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Old 04-02-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
The ones shown in the link seem like commercial structures or pretty large homes, larger than I could afford. I did see something on CNN of a more ordinary sized home that was make for a grandmother who lost her home during Hurricane Katrina. It was made in a factory in large sections (walls, roof, floors, etc.) then hauled and assembled on site. Strong support pillars were sunk in the ground, with the floor of the house several feet above the ground. The idea for this stilt arrangement was not only high enough to keep the house dry from flooding, but would let the wind blow through more easily.

In addition, the walls were extremely strong. But the interesting part was that the interior walls (which were pre-fabbed) were used to strengthen the outer walls of the house, the the corners of the exterior walls overlapped and nailed together for added strength. I can't remember how the roof was designed, but it too was built strong enough to at least withstand the most powerful hurricane winds on record (or better). The posts of the house not only were made to keep the house above flood water, but were also important parts to strengthen the house as well.

I don't remember what the estimated price was, but it seems like it was comparable to any typical home. Part of the reason why it wasn't greatly expensive is because it's prefabricated. All they had to do is load up the parts and deliver it to the property to be assembled. I think the entire house was completely assembled on site in a single day. The posts were installed a few days before the parts for the house was delivered. It looked like it was mostly bolting all the pieces together. The whole thing was remarkable.
Wonder how it would fare in an F4 tornado?
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
Wonder how it would fare in an F4 tornado?
The one built for the woman featured on CNN was built for hurricane conditions. I think it was in Mississippi.

In the link I posted, under "Photos and Information", there are a few houses shown built to withstand tornados. I'm not sure about an F-4, but I'd guess they'd be in better condition than the typical wood-built houses. In the "Virtually Indestructable" section, the claim is that they've been tested to withstand 376 MPH wind loading and 17,000 pounds of shear. They're permanently welded to the foundation. Windows could experience damage, but it'd be a lot cheaper to replace the windows than would be to replace the entire house.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Once upon a time, I worked as a security guard. A number of us had worked at Montgomery Wards following in Fort Worth. Most of the damage was not structural, but stuff like glass, and so forth -- the contents of file cabinets and so forth, but some leakage from from the rain.

It was an older building back when they wanted to make sure things were really put together, so to speak. Probably in an era when the Empire State Building was built. If the planes had crashed into the EMS building at 9-11, it would not have fallen.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
Once upon a time, I worked as a security guard. A number of us had worked at Montgomery Wards following in Fort Worth. Most of the damage was not structural, but stuff like glass, and so forth -- the contents of file cabinets and so forth, but some leakage from from the rain.

It was an older building back when they wanted to make sure things were really put together, so to speak. Probably in an era when the Empire State Building was built. If the planes had crashed into the EMS building at 9-11, it would not have fallen.
You're right about flying glass, not to mention nails, rocks, sheet metal, boards, and so on. I don't know what the pre-fab houses have installed for windows, but I'd think safety glass would be the the least hazardous from breakage. I suspect the companies have taken into account the risk of broken windows and have reduced the problem. They might have a room in the center, like a storage room, that has no windows and would be the best location to be if you're trapped inside by a storm. Anyway you look at it, tornado or hurricane, they're both extremely dangerous storms. I'd rather never be caught in something like that, but if I had a choice, one of those pre-fabs seem like it would offer the best protection.

I was watching an interview a few years ago on the Weather Channel, I think. It was about one of the hurricanes that blew through southern Florida. Some people in an apartment building, fairly close to the beach, decided to ride it out. As it swept through, they thought it couldn't possibly get any worse. However, it kept getting worse, much worse. They said reached a point where it was becoming terrifying and startd having second thoughts (a bit too late) about staying behind and that they should have evacuated. No one could get to them to rescue them. They survived, but they realized their decision wasn't the best choice at all. They're really lucky that they weren't killed. If there's enough advance warning ahead of time, people need to take such storms seriously and evacuate as far away as they can get from it.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I overheard somebody on the radio mention "Gorilla Glass" that was in a house. Sounded good, but might be expensive. I just got a glimpse of it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Texas
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I just came across this: bamboo, the next super material.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
I just came across this: bamboo, the next super material.
Bamboo is very strong, flexible and cheap, but I don't know if I'd want to construct a house out of it in Tornado Alley. Reminds me of the Three Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Bamboo is very strong, flexible and cheap, but I don't know if I'd want to construct a house out of it in Tornado Alley. Reminds me of the Three Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.
Reminds me of a show about the old boats/ships and how they were built. The first ones were from the Polynesians and landed eventually at western South America.. Others were from Europe, and so forth. Pretty interesting.

Some of these ships were tediously built. To think of a ship traveling 8000 miles, is mind boggling. It's not like they had any books to read or no way to plug in a laptop...Just think how boring the trips were.
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