All-Concrete Home Withstands 300 MPH Winds, proved by model

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All-Concrete Home Withstands 300 MPH Winds, proved by model

#1 Postby NDG » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:30 am

I know they are not the prettiest houses, but if we live in hurricane alley why not start building more and more all concrete homes in at least S FL to start, even if the house would cost more in some instances, in the long run will save you money because in most cases insurance premiums will be 50% less than a wood roof home. They also said on the actual news video that was broadcasted here in Orlando of this story, that it will save a homeowner energy by as much as 40% because there would be no attic in a concrete home, a 6 inch styrofoam is used as an insolator all around the house. On the video these houses being built in Kissimmee did not looked that bad, the all concrete roofs were actually being built with an angle, with high ceilings, these houses did not looked like a square box like the ones they have built in the Caribbean in years past.


KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Jim Sands said it's hard to believe construction of all-concrete homes -- including the roofs -- has not caught on in Florida, especially after the hurricanes of recent years.

All-concrete homes are fairly rare in the Sunshine State, despite being somewhat common in Puerto Rico and other places, according to Sands, who told Local 6 News partner Florida Today that he built about 2,000 of them in Puerto Rico in the 1960s and 1970s, and has since built some in Florida.

To prove his point, Sands, a homebuilder now based in Kissimmee, on Thursday poured the concrete roof of an all-concrete house his company, James A. Sands & Associates, is building in Orlando for a buyer.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house costs about $175,000, which Sands said is about the same price it would have cost to build the house with a wood frame. In addition, the all-concrete house has a regular A-frame roof, not a flat roof.

He said his all-concrete house can withstand the winds of the strongest hurricane -- and can handle tornadoes as well, capable of taking on 300-mph winds.

The Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program, a service that provides technical assistance to small businesses, and the Brevard County-based Technological Research and Development Authority, an agency that helps technology-based companies develop, confirmed that Sands' house can withstand winds up to 300 mph.

"That's gives me credibility," Sands said.

In this case, the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program turned to Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., and Goodarz Ahmadi, an expert in the use of what's known as computational fluid dynamics or CFD.

"CFD is the use of very powerful computers to simulate the flow of liquids or gases through or around some object," said Ahmadi, who has used the technique to help NASA better understand the operation of the space shuttle main engine.

With the help of graduate students, Ahmadi said it was a relatively straightforward exercise to take one of Sands' home designs and model it for the computer, then subject it to a simulation of 300-mph winds and see what happens.

When all the numbers were crunched and the analys was complete, the engineers had shown that the weight and strength of an all-concrete home, including its roof, could more than stand up to the positive and negative pressures from a hurricane or tornado, he said.

"It was a very interesting project," Ahmadi said.


Link to story from Local6 Orlando

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#2 Postby flightwxman » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:22 am

I wonder where this is at? I would love to drive by and see what they actually look like...

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#3 Postby NDG » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:26 am

flightwxman wrote:I wonder where this is at? I would love to drive by and see what they actually look like...


Me too, I wonder if by calling the Channel 6 station they can give the address in Kissimmee where this home or homes are being built.

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#4 Postby flightwxman » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:32 am

I'll drop them an Email and see what I get..

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#5 Postby DanKellFla » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:41 pm


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#6 Postby Dionne » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:00 am

When we visited St Kitts, our guide.....Lester Gilliard told us he had visited the United States......he said (as he laughed) that in Boston they build their homes with wood!! He sure got my attention. I visited some projects on Kitts to see exactly how they built an all concrete residential. It was interesting....mechanical chases are built into the walls for electrical and plumbing as they go up. ALL the walls are concrete....even the interior walls. Most of the roofs are 4 and 5/12 on pitch and they are also concrete. Kind of like building a parking garage.....everything is load bearing with connectivity from the ground up. We also viewed homes on the windward side of the island that took the hurricane Georges slam in 1998. Many of the homes were abandoned not to be restored.....all that remains are the walls and roofs. The Kittitians do not rebuild on land that goes under a storm surge. What they did on Kitts was lease the land to Marriott which in turn built a 5 star resort on the waters edge at Frigate Bay. Marriott wasn't about to be outdone. All steel and concrete. Elevated second floor with blow out panels on the lower level. On higher ground they installed cisterns and generators. The roof systems at the resort are not concrete, it's all post and beam using huge glu-lams (laminated beams) and metal panels. It is important to note that concrete is affordable on Kitts......the little island is of volcanic origin....all the raw materials are in place.

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#7 Postby DanKellFla » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:16 am

Dionne wrote:When we visited St Kitts, our guide.....Lester Gilliard told us he had visited the United States......he said (as he laughed) that in Boston they build their homes with wood!! ..........
It is important to note that concrete is affordable on Kitts......the little island is of volcanic origin....all the raw materials are in place.


Those two statements explain each other. In Boston, wood is much more affordable than concrete. Many homes in that area are over 100 years old. I have no idea what the state of concrete housing construction was in 1900, but I doubt if it was a viable technology to use for home building. I wouldn't mind having a concrete house even if it cost me more in the short term. Maybe insurance savings would make up for the extra cost in 5 or 10 years?

It is a very complicated topic. Housing costs, insurance, building costs, storms, long term vs. short term planning.... etc,.

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#8 Postby MomH » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:19 am

Add some white paint and some rock to the roof in the picture and you have a place that looks like half the homes built in FL in the 50's.

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#9 Postby DanKellFla » Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:28 am

The white shoebox houses! :)

Derek Ortt

#10 Postby Derek Ortt » Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:30 pm

Those models do not include the effects of flying debris

Flying debris can cause the destruction of a structure that can survive 300 mph winds in winds of a much lower magnitude

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#11 Postby DanKellFla » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:31 pm

You are right, I doubt that the effects of flying debris is included. But a dynamic analysis of a concrete wall isn't that hard. The hard part is deciding on what mass, velocity and impact area to use. Then again, a coconut at 300 MPH can cause a lot of damage.

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#12 Postby NDG » Tue May 01, 2007 10:21 am

I once saw a documentary regarding putting all types of walls through a flying debris test that would happen during a hurricane or tornado flying at least 200/mph, the re-enforced concrete wall of house, basically had very little or no damage during the test compared to a just plain concrete block wall, brick wall or woodened wall. The worst damage was done to a woodened wall of course, second worst damage and almost as bad was the brick wall, which a lot people think that is a whole lot safer than a woodened wall, the flyind 4x4 went through the brick wall almost just as easy. Of course, if you don't have storm shutters on your windows or live on the path of a storm surge, what's the point of having a concrete wall and or concrete roof.

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#13 Postby TheShrimper » Tue May 01, 2007 7:36 pm

If 5/8's continuos rebar is tied vertically and horizontally 1 ft. on center from the footer, thru the walls and incorporated into the roof pour as well, no flying debris will pentetrate the structure. It may crack the area impacted, but not enter. Yeh, we saw pic's of tie beams blown off in Homestead after Andy, but no doubt the steel in them was not adequately tied to the verticle rebar in the block cells. Hell, the cells may not even have been filled with concrete. For the little extra money it costs to put steel in every cell and fill them accordingly, dont understand why the homeowners dont insist on that happening. TheShrimper

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#14 Postby hial2 » Tue May 01, 2007 7:41 pm

There are many already built in the Miami area

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#15 Postby hial2 » Tue May 01, 2007 7:44 pm

For those in the Miami area,a whole development like that went up @ NW 132 av/10 st..There is another one I know of @ SW 62 av/40 st..They look like normal wood roof homes..

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#16 Postby flightwxman » Tue May 01, 2007 7:46 pm

TheShrimper wrote:If 5/8's continuos rebar is tied vertically and horizontally 1 ft. on center from the footer, thru the walls and incorporated into the roof pour as well, no flying debris will pentetrate the structure. It may crack the area impacted, but not enter. Yeh, we saw pic's of tie beams blown off in Homestead after Andy, but no doubt the steel in them was not adequately tied to the verticle rebar in the block cells. Hell, the cells may not even have been filled with concrete. For the little extra money it costs to put steel in every cell and fill them accordingly, dont understand why the homeowners dont insist on that happening. TheShrimper


Sounds Lucrative...Oh and Local 6 never got back to me about that location...Im sure its possible to find it by searching around the internet...but maybe another day...

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#17 Postby Dionne » Wed May 02, 2007 5:35 pm

TheShrimper wrote:If 5/8's continuos rebar is tied vertically and horizontally 1 ft. on center from the footer, thru the walls and incorporated into the roof pour as well, no flying debris will pentetrate the structure. It may crack the area impacted, but not enter. Yeh, we saw pic's of tie beams blown off in Homestead after Andy, but no doubt the steel in them was not adequately tied to the verticle rebar in the block cells. Hell, the cells may not even have been filled with concrete. For the little extra money it costs to put steel in every cell and fill them accordingly, dont understand why the homeowners dont insist on that happening. TheShrimper


I believe it was the parking garage at the Gulfport Grand that was damaged beyond repair after Katrina. It was all concrete and steel. Also the Isle of Capris parking garage was damaged but repaired. I personally viewed the garage at the Isle. All the damage was on the gulf side. There wasn't a collapse but it took one helluva beating. To the point that rebar was exposed inside of concrete.

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#18 Postby DanKellFla » Wed May 02, 2007 8:16 pm

Dionne, was that parking garage subject to a storm surge? I don't think there is anything that could be mass produced affordablly that can withstand a storm surge.

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#19 Postby Category 5 » Wed May 02, 2007 10:38 pm

Sure it can take the wind. But can it take a Katrina like surge?

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#20 Postby Dionne » Thu May 03, 2007 6:27 am

DanKellFla wrote:Dionne, was that parking garage subject to a storm surge? I don't think there is anything that could be mass produced affordablly that can withstand a storm surge.


I am of the opinion that the damage was caused by storm surge.....remember that the gulf water came in violently and when it drained back out....the water was full of debris. The Beau Rivage parking garage survived as did the Biloxi lighthouse (which is steel)......it would be interesting to see how the lighthouse is attached to its foundation. One report suggested the entire lighthouse had moved several centimeters.


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