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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 10/20/2010

House integrity tested with giant wind fans

By Capital Weather Gang

* Sun to slowly emerge: Full Forecast | Ready to rake? *

A Tuesday, Oct. 19. 2010 photo provided by the Institue for Business and Home Safety shows two 1,300-square-foot houses stand side by side as 105 giant fans created wind gusts of 110 mph, about the same as a Category 3 hurricane, to test the houses resistance to such natural disasters, in Richburg, S.C. The house at left was built using conventional materials and standards and the other built with fortified materials and using hurricane resistant technology, like strapping to tie the floors and roof together to withstand more winds. (AP Photo/Institute for Business and Home Safety, Scott Iskowitz)

If you own or considering purchasing property near the coast, here's justification for ensuring your structure of interest is sound...

RICHBURG, S.C. (AP) -- Researchers have used 105 giant fans to create hurricane-force winds in an experiment that crumpled an ordinary home in minutes but left a better-built home standing.

Engineers say the experiment carried out inside the Insurance Center for Building Safety in a rural area of South Carolina illustrates why fortified building materials and methods are better than those of conventional homes.

The cavernous center was built by insurance companies in an attempt to find ways to reduce damages and losses arising from natural disasters. The conventional house took minutes to collapse in 96-mph winds.

Chief engineer Tim Reinhold says the stronger house cost about $5,000 more to build. It suffered only cosmetic damage in the same winds.

By Capital Weather Gang  | October 20, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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I am sure engineers had a field day watching the structural response to the winds! Seems crazy, but this seems to have practicality too! Super neat pictures :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 20, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

It may have only cost about $5,000 more to fortify a house against winds, but sadly, for those of us who aren't building a new house any time soon, retrofitting existing homes isn't cheap.

Posted by: Havoc737 | October 20, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ladies & gentlemen, we have a winner in the wind contest!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | October 20, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Havoc737, agreed. Not cheap at all. But hopefully building codes could be updated for future permits issued, right?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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