Natural Disaster Housing Research Project Results Announced

Originally published by: Newpot Partners, LLCFebruary 21, 2012

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Newport Partners, LLC, a Maryland-based consulting firm, recently announced the initial results of a HUD-funded research project, Safer, Stronger Homes: Protecting Your Risk During a Natural Disaster, at the NAHB Codes and Standards Committee during the 2012 International Builders Show in Orlando.   The project team created a how-to guide, available at, of simple, low-cost mitigation strategies for both builders and homebuyers to improve their home performance during natural disasters.

Newport will host a free webinar on Monday, March 12, 2012, 2-3:30 p.m. EST. featuring builders Chip Dence, East End Builders, Victoria, TX, a member of the NAHB Committee on Codes and Standards and Hank Hofford, Bennett Hofford Construction Company, Charleston, SC. Both are members of the project’s expert advisory committee and will share their experience directly with builders.  Please contact Beth Weaver at by March 5.

“Local building codes have improved dramatically over the past two decades, but they cannot be expected to address everything that might go wrong in a home,” said Jay Crandell, ARES Consulting and part of the Newport Partners project team.  “This disaster-proofing guide will help builders fill some of the gaps by addressing known failures not typically addressed by code.”

Working with an advisory committee comprised of builders, engineers and code officials with direct experience with homes in natural disasters, the group identified 14 mitigation strategies that offer big payback, most for minimal investment like better nailing patterns that can save homeowners thousands in damages.

The guide addresses four main disaster risks; winds, seismic forces, floods, and wind-driven rain that account for billions of dollars in home damage each year.  The individual strategies are:

·                     Wind-Resistant Roof Configurations

·                     Enhanced Roof Sheathing Attachment

·                     Wind and Water-Resistant Roofing Underlayment

·                     Wind-Resistant Roof Coverings

·                     Improved Gable Overhang Framing

·                     Reinforced Gable End Wall Construction

·                     Improved Siding and Other Exterior Wall Finishes

·                     Enhanced Wind Pressure and Rain-Resistant Window and Door Components

·                     Roof Ventilation Practices to Prevent Wind-Drive Rain Penetration

·                     Enhanced Water-Resistive Barrier and Flashing Practices

·                     Reinforced Continuous Load Path

·                     Earthquake and Wind-Resistant Chimneys

·                     Extra Elevated Foundations

·                     Prevention of Tree-Fall Damage with Wind-Resistant Landscaping

For more information on the specific benefit and costs of the disaster mitigation strategies, and additional resources, please visit

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