Each year, many natural disasters occur throughout the United States. Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding are responsible for damaging and destroying thousands of homes.
Research shows that 43% of homes in the U.S. have a high or very high risk of being impacted by some type of natural disaster, presenting a significant threat to families, businesses and the economy. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports the U.S. spent a total of $91 billion on disaster-related events in 2018.
As we continue to develop land throughout the country, we face the increasing risk posed by natural disasters. In particular, Texas is ranked #1 in the U.S. for the variety and frequency of these events.
While there is no guarantee you can avoid natural disasters, you can be more prepared for them by designing homes with the right materials that provide added layers of safety and protection. Let’s review some building materials that should be considered during the design phase, especially in areas like Texas where you are more prone to extreme weather events.
Traditional or Disaster Resilient Frames?
Unlike windows, doors and siding, it’s not easy to replace the frame of your home once it’s built. That’s why the frame material you choose in the design phase plays a vital role in protecting your home.
Most homes are designed and built using traditional materials like wood framing, but when you consider the threat of natural disasters, especially in areas like Texas, there aren’t many advantages to using these conventional materials.
While it’s possible to build wood-frame homes that would withstand a natural disaster, the frame must be able to achieve a continuous load path to the ground and be resistant to flying debris. The labor and construction involved to meet these standards with wood-framing are often cost prohibitive, costing 25 – 30% more than standard construction methods.
When choosing materials to build the frame of your home, you want to achieve a high level of durability and strength to be prepared for natural disasters. Disaster resilient design protects the structural integrity of your building and adds an important layer of protection for anyone who may become trapped inside during a weather event.
Resilient design follows national building codes for water, earthquake, storm and fire resistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the International Code Council (ICC) Family of Companies offer a lot of advice and recommendations about resilient design and how to follow code adherence. For cost-effective recommendations, the ICC suggests using the current International Codes (I-Codes).
insulated concrete blocks (ICB) are often used in resilient design and offer a lot more safety and protection compared to traditional wood frames. But which one offers the most advantages from both a design and safety standpoint in your area?
Choose the Materials That Keep You Safe
On average, Texas experiences at least one major natural disaster every year. “Tornado Alley” reaches into Texas, hurricanes have long been responsible for causing severe wind and water damage, flooding is a common occurrence after intense rains, and the harsh climate often creates severe droughts and wildfires. Using building materials like ICFs in your design will help ensure your building and its occupants are protected from the potential harm these events bring.
The Bautex Wall System is a great example of a type of ICB that has superior fire resistant properties, especially when compared to traditional ICFs, and the right level of continuous insulation built into the block that is required to meet today’s codes. It can also be built up to twice as fast a CMU wall using less labor and decreasing the cost and construction time.
The Bautex Blocks serve as forms for building a steel-reinforced concrete wall where the blocks stay in place after the concrete is installed to provide enclosure and insulation for the building. Bautex Block has been fully tested and is recognized by international building codes.
For an extra layer of protection against wind-driven rain and other types of moisture, the Bautex AMB20 Air and Moisture Barrier can quickly and easily be applied to exterior wall substrates like Bautex Block, concrete or CMU.
Bautex AMB20 is lab-tested to meet the Air Barrier Association of America’s minimum standards for wall air barrier assemblies and also meets and exceeds the code requirements of residential construction projects across all U.S. climate zones, giving you a solid solution for continuous air and moisture control.
Be Prepared for Natural Disasters
As the threat of natural disasters continues to increase, it’s important to always design with the weather in mind. Considering the use of disaster resilient building materials in the planning phases helps ensure you are protecting your investment and its occupants for the long-term.
Contact Bautex today to find out more about the Bautex Wall System and everything we offer to keep your next home safe from extreme weather events.