Florida Test Homes Built to Withstand Wind and Rain
Two prototype homes incorporating technologies and practices that can make houses safer in Florida and other hurricane-prone areas were unveiled last week by HUD’s Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing and Mercedes Homes in Rockledge, Fla.
PATH and its partners in this project — the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the University of Florida and the Florida Energy Extension Service — started working with Mercedes even before last year’s devastating hurricane season on a model home with concrete construction, tie-downs, steel reinforcement, secondary roof coverings, window shutters and other features designed to minimize wind damage.
PATH and Mercedes also developed strategies to keep wind-driven moisture from entering the homes after significant damage in last year’s storms was found from water breaching roofs, walls, doors and windows.
Outward swinging front doors, design modifications to keep water out of eaves and concrete coatings that prevent water absorption are a few of the innovations in the test homes that will be monitored by the University of Florida. Data from the study will be incorporated into engineering coursework.
PATH is working with Mercedes Homes to conduct a cost-analysis of the new technologies and to develop strategies to use the practices in future projects.
For more information on the Mercedes Homes prototypes and other PATH demonstration sites, click here.