Mark Turnquest, CIPM
HURRICANE MICHAEL, MEXICO BEACH FLORIDA, USA, 2018
The latest hurricane 2018 was deadly which struck and left catastrophic damage in its wake. This time, it was Hurricane Michael — a Category 4 Hurricane and the most powerful hurricane recorded in the Florida panhandle in a century. Hurricane Michael is not an anomaly. According to a National Climate Assessment report, North Atlantic hurricanes are going to become even more powerful. So the question becomes, ‘As hurricanes get more powerful, how can builders, architects and homeowners create truly hurricane-resistant homes?’
WERE THERE HURRICANE-RESISTANT HOMES ALONG THE PATH: THE SURVIVOR HOUSE IN MEXICO BEACH... The ONLY home left standing, called the Sand Palace of Mexico Beach, was built with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) instead of CMU or WOOD. ICF's use expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam panels filled with concrete and reinforced by steel cables and red iron, which makes a home incredibly strong. And unlike CMU or Wood, ICF's won’t buckle under hurricane-force winds. In fact, homes built with ICF insulated concrete forms can withstand up to 300 mph winds. When the Mexico Beach home was built, additional concrete was also added to the corners of the house. In addition, the amount of space underneath the roof was minimized to protect it from wind, and the house was also elevated on tall pilings to allow a storm surge to pass right underneath it. Eco Construction is the next Era.