CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, both Project Impact communities in Virginia's Tidewater region, are promoting innovative building techniques to reduce hurricane and wind-related property damage. The communities teamed up today to showcase a "hurricane house" in Chesapeake's Miars Plantation and another one in Virginia Beach to state and federal officials and the media.
Jack Jackson, general contractor and Project Impact partner, described the building strategies that make the Miars Plantation hurricane house safer than the norm. The exterior walls are formed concrete reinforced with rebar, and rated to withstand winds of 200 miles per hour. The house also features a safe room with eight-inch concrete walls that can withstand 250-mile per hour winds and a shuttered doorway for protection against flying glass and debris. Hurricane straps and extra thick glass add to the building's ability to withstand damage from high winds.
The Chesapeake hurricane house is under construction and will be unveiled to the public during the Homearama event in October. Officials also toured a completed hurricane house in Virginia Beach and a condominium built using the formed concrete technique.
FEMA and state emergency management officials used the hurricane house tours as an opportunity to remind people about the need to prepare for hurricane season. Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd made their way through Virginia last year, taking lives and destroying property. FEMA provided more than $34 million in recovery assistance to Virginia following those storms, including nearly $23 million to the Tidewater region.