Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Disaster Safety: IBHS Research Center Grand Opening

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on October 22, 2012

Disaster Safety: IBHS Research Center Grand OpeningThe Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) hosted the grand opening of its multi-risk building science research center in Chester County, S.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 19th. The state-of-the-art, multi-hazard applied research and training facility will significantly advance building science by enabling researchers to more fully and accurately evaluate various residential and commercial construction materials and systems. The facility is entirely funded by the property insurance industry.

When fully operational, the IBHS Research Center will be able to simulate Category 1, 2 and 3 hurricane-force winds, extra-tropical windstorms, thunderstorm frontal winds, wildfire ember showers, wind-driven rain and hailstorms within its 21,000 square-foot test chamber. These capabilities largely derive from a massive array of 105, 5-1/2 ft. diameter electric fans that can be accelerated up to 140 mph. The laboratory’s 750,000 gallon water tank will supply the test chamber’s 200 nozzles, capable of creating “rain” at a rate of up to 8 inches per hour. In addition, hailstones, burning embers and different types of “debris” will be introduced into the wind stream via a series of special ducts and other mechanical systems as part of a variety of tests.

Research Center overview:

In 2010, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) created a unique, state-of-the-art, multi-risk applied research facility on a 90-acre parcel of land in Chester County, South Carolina, about 45 minutes south of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The Research Center is a quantum leap forward for building science because it enables researchers to for the first time test full-scale one- and two-story residential and commercial building specimens and systems. Testing programs involve highly realistic replications of real-world, potentially disastrous events, such as high winds, wind-driven rain, hail, and wildfires.

The lab’s ability to completely engulf full-scale 1,200 sq. ft. to 2,400 sq. ft. buildings in various types of realistic “storms” allows holistic testing of building systems in ways that have never been possible before. This facility is a tangible, very public demonstration of the property insurance industry’s deep commitment to reducing and preventing losses that disrupt the lives of millions of home and business owners each year.

IBHS’ scientific research already has influenced residential and commercial structural design and construction, and will continue to do so for decades to come. Given that the U.S. experienced more than $60 billion in insured losses during just the first half of 2011, there is an urgent need for the applied science solutions being developed by IBHS – the savings realized as a result of these solutions will “pay for” the lab many times over.

The large test chamber is an exceptionally large, specially designed wind tunnel; it is 145 ft. wide by 145 ft. long, with a clear interior height of 60 ft. The test chamber’s dimensions, long-span steel structure, and 105 nearly 6-ft. diameter fans at the end of a contrac- tion inlet combine to create proper aerodynamic flows and gust structure that enable researchers to create realistic Category 1, 2 and 3 hurricanes, extra-tropical windstorms, wind-driven rain conditions, and strong thunderstorm frontal winds. The test chamber contains a custom-built 55-ft. diameter turntable so that complete rotation of structural specimens can be done remotely during testing.

Distributed by Viestly


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