Man-Made Hurricane Tests Construction Techniques

Man-Made Hurricane Tests Construction Techniques

INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd got amazing insight into what could happen to a home when it goes up against hurricane-force winds.

Boyd watched a home blow away at a one-of-a-kind research facility in South Carolina.

A man-made hurricane, generated by a massive bank of fans, was used to test the strength of the house's construction.

The 105 massive fans can collectively generate a maximum wind speed of 140 miles per hour.

Boyd watched the whole process. First, the experts in the control room recreated the battering a house would take from pounding rains.

Then they ramped up the wind speed.
Suddenly, with winds at 75 miles an hour, the roof blew off the house. Then, when winds reached 95 miles an hour, the house began crumbling.

The $40 million facility is funded by the insurance industry to research construction methods than can make homes more structurally sound.

"We really are able for the first time to engulf entire structures in the kinds of winds that you would see in the real world," says Julie Rochman of the Institute for Business & Home Safety.

There is one technique that seems to work. Using special ties helped a second house withstand the same battering.