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Assessment of Damage to Single-Family Homes Caused by Hurricanes Andrew and Iniki


Authors: NAHB Research Center Inc.    

Report Acceptance Date: 1993 (148 pages)

Posted Date: April 30, 2007

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Note: This technical document is most relevant to housing researchers. Because of the file size, a fast internet connection is recommended.

When Hurricane Andrew devastated Florida and Louisiana in August 1992 and Hurricane Iniki struck the Hawaiian Island of Kauai the following month, tens of thousands of homes in their paths were damaged or destroyed by wind forces that exceeded the design specifications established for residential construction by local and national building codes. This document identifies measures that designers, builders, local officials, homeowners, and others can take to improve the wind-resistant qualities of the single-family housing stock. The study also found that water damage was the most common and costly factor in the hurricane-damaged homes, and it identifies the three critical components that failed most frequently: windows and doors, roof coverings, attachment of roof sheathing. The findings reveal deficiencies in residential design, construction, building codes, and standards for building products and materials of single- family homes, as well as in preparedness and implicit public policies about levels of acceptable risk from storm hazards. The report's recommendations for improving the wind-resistant qualities of single-family homes balance the cost of a measure against the increment of protection it affords. Other recommendations include stronger and more flexible building code requirements, information and training for homeowners on preparing for hurricanes, and industry involvement in the investigation and development of cost effective, wind-resistant construction methods and materials.

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