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Saintsman
12th Oct 2018, 11:40
Seeing the damage on TV, it struck me that many of the properties that have been destroyed were made from wood.

Given that it's not unusual for these sort of events to happen, why is this?

Although they can still suffer, brick buildings would seem more a logical building method.

I just can't imagine how it would feel to come back and see everything you own gone. I do feel for those who are experiencing this.

tescoapp
12th Oct 2018, 11:56
cheap and easily replaced.

Building domestic properties out of brick is quiet a British thing. Mainly due to the UK burning alot of the wood in the industrial revolution and never replacing it.

Bricks are easier and cheaper to get your hands on locally and relatively easy to build with in the UK.

Go to other countries and its quiet rare for domestic properties not to be built out of timber. I have had to change my attitude to it since I left the UK. Warmer in winter cooler in summer is wood. if you wanted a new build brick where I am locally you would have to pay 40% for the building materials and 30% for labour. Overall I worked it out to be 25% more including land costs between a wooden build and a brick build. I suspect it would be substantially more in the US for large parts of the country.

GordonR_Cape
12th Oct 2018, 12:04
Aviation related, home of the F22: www.theepochtimes.com/tyndall-air-force-base-suffers-catastrophic-damage-during-hurricane-michael_2687520.html

Tyndall Air Force Base sustained “catastrophic” damage when Hurricane Michael hit. The storm, a strong Category 4 system, directly hit the base on Oct. 10.

Air Force officials said that due to the damage, the base will likely be uninhabited for weeks, according to the military news website Stars and Stripes. (https://www.stripes.com/news/us/tyndall-afb-leveled-by-hurricane-michael-as-most-other-installations-avoid-major-damage-1.551072)

scr1
12th Oct 2018, 14:47
cheap and easily replaced.

Building domestic properties out of brick is quiet a British thing. Mainly due to the UK burning alot of the wood in the industrial revolution and never replacing it.

Bricks are easier and cheaper to get your hands on locally and relatively easy to build with in the UK.

Go to other countries and its quiet rare for domestic properties not to be built out of timber. I have had to change my attitude to it since I left the UK. Warmer in winter cooler in summer is wood. if you wanted a new build brick where I am locally you would have to pay 40% for the building materials and 30% for labour. Overall I worked it out to be 25% more including land costs between a wooden build and a brick build. I suspect it would be substantially more in the US for large parts of the country.

Live in the north of Scotland in a timber house that was built in 1951 still solid.

pattern_is_full
12th Oct 2018, 16:24
I might note that it is not just wood - a lot of damage was due to light-weight metal framing/cladding (e.g. some hangars or shelters at Tyndall AFB, but also gas-station awnings and large "warehouse retail stores").

Basic U.S. philosophy has always been - enclose space with the minimum of materials. And - "we are not building for posterity. Make it fast and easy and cheap, and easy to modify and tear down and replace with something new, because the future will have different needs, and will be here tomorrow." Not that we don't occasionally put up a masonry edifice, as well.

Although, when I lived in Puerto Rico, we could tell which areas had been previously hit by hurricanes - they'd been rebuilt in concrete block (possibly because one of the richer "political" families also had the monopoly on cement and concrete plants. ;) ) and again, because on an island, structural-grade wood was a more limited resource. But a lot of sand and limestone was available.

KenV
12th Oct 2018, 17:05
Seeing the damage on TV, it struck me that many of the properties that have been destroyed were made from wood.
Given that it's not unusual for these sort of events to happen, why is this?
Although they can still suffer, brick buildings would seem more a logical building method.More logical? Depends on the logic.

1. Wood is easier, cheaper and faster to build. Also easier, cheaper, and faster to modify/upgrade over time as needs change. And in a modern fast moving society, needs change constantly. So logic argues for wood.

2. Brick is not that much stronger than a well made wooden building and cannot survive strong side loads, which is what winds produce. In any event, a brick building has a wooden roof structure. Even if the brick walls survive, the roof is blown off and the contents of the building destroyed. You'd have a brick shell with everything inside either gone or pulverized. So unlike the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, the pig in the brick house would be no better off than the pig next door in the wood house. So while logic does not argue for wood, neither does it argue for brick. On the other hand, it would be cheaper to tear down the brick shell and rebuild using wood than try to rebuild the brick structure.

To survive really high wind loads you need to build the walls and roof using steel reinforced concrete and have few and small windows and doors. Very expensive to build and very difficult to upgrade and/or modify. And usually not pleasant to live in.

RatherBeFlying
12th Oct 2018, 17:06
Wood frame construction can include reinforcement for high wind loading. Building codes these days often specify wind loadings for local conditions. Environment Canada has issued a regional wind warning today for 100G120 km/h (fortunately not kt). The principal danger is to buildings under construction and trucks blowing over.

ChrisVJ
12th Oct 2018, 17:16
Mostly wherever you go in the world houses for the masses are built of the cheapest material locally. I have rebuilt brick and block houses in the UK and done the same (and built a big house from scratch,) with wood in Canada. As far as building goes I prefer wood by an easy mile. Same thing with rooves. I have used slate, tile, shakes, shingles, aluminium and steel, both extruded and corrugated.

There are techniques that allow wood buildings to survive hurricanes but most of them have only been introduced in the last twenty years or so and some, though cheap and simple like hurricane clips, are still not universal. Australians tie their rooves to the foundations with cables.

I am not sure that anything short of solid concrete would have survived this hurricane and it still might be trashed even if the shell survived. Looking at the damage pictures the devastation seems to be unusually all encompassing.

meadowrun
12th Oct 2018, 18:21
I saw a lot of flimsy former building parts littering wide areas.
cheap and easily replaced
+ 25% tariffs on soft wood lumber.

Is someone controlling the wx?
That was a right hook followed very quickly by an upper cut to the US S.E. mainland.

Una Due Tfc
12th Oct 2018, 19:49
Given the increased frequency of high category hurricanes in the region, are the insurance companies providing cover for such events at an affordable price?

G-CPTN
12th Oct 2018, 19:57
When part of our settlement (either side of a river) was devastated by floods in December 2015, the government ruled that re-insurance had to be granted at similar rates as previously (domestic dwellings only).
Flood-Re (https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/flood-re/flood-re-explained/).

Loose rivets
13th Oct 2018, 01:43
Gosh, I'd no idea such a government backed system was in place.


I never did build my storm shelter/hobby room in my Texas garden. I had taken ages to find (the only) supplier of Autoclaved Concrete (Celcon and the like) and was ready to build c 400 sq ft of room. However, the building would have required planning consent as it had foundations, and in 'The Valley' that was like dealing with, erm, Mexicans. In Austin, a similar plan was greeted with interest but we moved home before that became a reality. The point being, the science I was putting forward piqued their interest as they had NO knowledge of such a product. It was in the 1990's that it gained some hold for building hotels and other structures that had protection in law for the occupants.

A company on the west coast would send you all the parts for a house. You ordered a shopping list of bits, and had them driven to you. WTF!? I can not even imagine opening up a complete house of even lightweight concrete bits and finding one roof truss short, or some such nonsense.

Anyway, back to the valley - a nikname for the area bordering on the Rio Grande in south Texas.

What was interesting was the idea of a six inch thick wall with vertical holes in every few blocks. One would set steel Rebar into the slab and presumably lift the block over the bar and threading it down. Not bad. Obviates the need for the Australian cable idea. Keeping the roof on is quite a separate issue.

A man near my other SIL made a fortune with an idea where concrete was poured into polystyrene moulds. Rebar was added to the mix, as was lateral ties with plastic bits on the end. The poly was the only mould as the concrete was poured and the integrity of the wall relied on the mix going off before going too high. It's surprising how quickly one could go up say, 3', the soft setting being very fast. Cladding and sheetrock lined the walls.

I thought this was the most disgusting idea I'd ever heard of, despite the houses looking nice. The poly stayed in place for the life of the house. Horrible, horrible mixture of rock and fluff.

For a time, the Rivetess and I moved into the cottage built over the garages next to a stone house near my SIL's stone house. The stone house was to be more grand even than SIL's, not finished, but what there was, was almost bomb proof. An old guy, (my age now) had built his dream house on top of the next mountain, firstly driving in vertical I beam steel girders and then laying stone walls 18" thick with 5/8 bars welded to the vertical beams every few layers ( of natural stone ) 4000 sq feet of it, with vast concrete walls mapping the rooms above. It was called, Broken Arrow Ranch, as there was a huge stone in the shape of a broken arrow set into the face over the fireplace. It must have taken four men to lift that stone into place.

I told my wife I did not want to turn into that old man - mixing concrete into eternity.

Okay, it was a monument to over-engineering and just an . . . arrow's range away from a house that practically melted when it was hit by lightning. SIL's house was destroyed in a few seconds, the stone came from the beutiful Canyon Lake before it was flooded and could never be replaced. Nothing, it seems can defeat Thor's hammer if he's a mind to swing it your way.

MarcK
13th Oct 2018, 03:56
How about a Styrofoam-Concrete Chateau (https://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2017/10/ashland_chateau_stages_stan_ma.html)?

ORAC
16th Oct 2018, 08:51
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/concrete-pays-off-for-house-battered-by-hurricane-michael-2w5smhk7v

Concrete pays off for house battered by Hurricane Michael

One house was left habitable along the shore of Mexico Beach, a community battered last week by Hurricane Michael, the strongest recorded storm to hit the Florida strip.

The owners of the “Sand Palace”, a gleaming holiday home reinforced with concrete and anchored on pilings sunk 40ft into the ground, said that they were relieved and a bit surprised that the hurricane hitting the coast with 155mph winds had spared them. According to Lebron Lackey, a cardiologist who co-owns the property, it was built last year to withstand 250mph winds, far exceeding the minimum requirement set by the state’s building codes.

“We wanted to build it for the big one,” he told The New York Times. “We just never knew we’d find the big one so fast.”.....

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1505x846/methode_2ftimes_2fprod_2fweb_2fbin_2fb4acf7e8_d094_11e8_a7e2 _4943f60e65b3_86c22380b75296b39ca93fdcd059ac6936870671.jpg

Nemrytter
16th Oct 2018, 10:32
Building domestic properties out of brick is quiet a British thing. Mainly due to the UK burning alot of the wood in the industrial revolution and never replacing it.Tell that to the rest of Europe.

KenV
16th Oct 2018, 11:26
Given the increased frequency of high category hurricanes in the region......Sorry, no. Fake news.

SARF
16th Oct 2018, 16:12
People in the U.K. don’t really like living in house that a burglar could saw his way into

Expatrick
16th Oct 2018, 16:14
High spec., UK made timber frame kits were successfully exported to many parts of the World including the Caribbean, continental Europe, Africa & middle East, withstanding, variously, hurricanes, earthquakes & termites. Unlike much of American timber frame construction these were not "stick built" on site but included a very high degree of factory prefabrication.

Unfortunately the race to the botton within the Industry, following the controversial "World in Action" programme in the mid '80s saw a significant step down in specification & construction standards.

RatherBeFlying
16th Oct 2018, 17:19
The Sand Palace reminds me of the common architecture on South Padre Island where just about all the houses are elevated. Hurricane Beulah produced an 18' storm surge.

NWS forecast storm surge over 9'. All you can do is get away or pray your piles have sufficiently elevated your house.

Mexico Beach wasn't blown away - it was washed away.

Una Due Tfc
31st Oct 2018, 15:47
Sorry, no. Fake news.

https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/our-changing-climate/changes-hurricanes

The frequency and intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes has been increasing since the early 80s according to these folks, who include NOAA and NASA.

If I’m going to believe anyone when it comes to hurricanes, it’s going to be the folks who fly those P-3s right into the middle of em, crazy bar stewards.

Pontius Navigator
31st Oct 2018, 17:30
KenV, To survive really high wind loads you need to build the walls and roof using steel reinforced concrete and have few and small windows and doors. Very expensive to build and very difficult to upgrade and/or modify. And usually not pleasant to live in.

You describe my daughter's house to a T. It is built on the UK South coast on a sand bank. They have just extended with steel girder and concrete. The floors are concrete. Their weak point is the tin roof.

Tesco cited UK as largely brick houses. This is true of many 'modern ' houses of the industrial revolution where brick could be easily transported by the canal system. In other area vernacular building is the norm. Wattle and daub, flint stone and thatch, limestone, slate, timber etc. 21st major builders use timber frame but UK domestic tastes favour brick so the timber houses have a non-load bearing brick cladding. Go to Spain and concrete hollow block with cement render is the norm.

Pontius Navigator
31st Oct 2018, 19:30
Live in the north of Scotland in a timber house that was built in 1951 still solid.
My cousin in Dingwall lives in a similar one built for Scottish Hydro from a Scandinavian kit.