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.
Link to story from Local6 Orlando
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.