The IHRC is currently developing an innovative research capability in full-scale structural testing to determine inherent weaknesses of structures when subjected to categories 1 to 5 hurricane-force winds and rain, leading to new technologies, designs and products. This new Wall of Wind testing facility, the first-of-its-kind, will revolutionize our building construction and retrofitting practices.
The 2-fan prototype Wall of Wind apparatus, funded by the Florida Department of Community Affairs, has already been successfully used to test roofing shingles and soffits. Based on this proof-of-concept, the RenaissanceRe, a premier global provider of reinsurance and insurance coverages for natural and man-made catastrophes, commissioned the building of a 6-fan array, which can generate a 140 mph windfield.
Full-scale destructive testing of houses will change the public’s perception of building safety. This will lead to the development of a “culture of preparedness”—a change in public behavior that Governor Jeb Bush has insisted must occur in the State of Florida for our economy to remain sustainable. Just as the effective visualization of car crashes drastically changed automobile safety through the introduction of seat belts and air bags, we will do the same for the housing industry. This fundamental change is a necessary condition for available and affordable insurance in Florida, which is paramount to sustain the State’s economy.
TV Wall of Wind 2-Fan Demonstration (WMV,
ABC World News Wall of Wind 6-Fan Demonstration (WMV, 15460 KB)
Wall of Wind Poster (PDF, 187 KB)
(PDF, 24 KB)