An Associated Press article from earlier this week chronicled several stories from homeowners and builders who have a put a priority on constructing homes that are not only energy efficient, but are able to better withstand severe weather, such as hurricanes.
Five years ago, Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle, destroying many homes in the small coastal community of Mexico Beach. But some homes, including Bonny Paulson’s rounded home and “The Sand Palace of Mexico Beach” survived the storm with minimal damage thanks in large part to conscience decisions made during the home construction process.
For the Sand Palace, one of the main features in the construction of the home was the use of spray foam insulation in the overall design and build. For example, the closed-cell foam helped the roof endure the blunt force of the winds during the storm, keeping it intact. As one of the homeowners said, “I think spray foam did a great job of not only insulating our home, but also unifying and solidifying the roof!”
Builders are finding that they can construct homes that are both energy efficient and more resilient to extreme weather conditions.
One such company, Pearl Homes, praised spray foam insulation back in 2021 “over other insulating materials for its air sealing, durability and insulating value per inch.” As Pearl Homes CEO Marshall Gobuty recently said, he’s looking to build homes that are “not just sustainable, but resilient.”
The article also highlights Babcock Ranch, a “sustainable, hurricane resilient community” in South Florida. When Hurricane Ian came through Babcock Ranch as a Category 4 storm, little to no damage was reported. Meritage Homes is a proud builder in this development and their Vice President of Environmental and Government Affairs, Ian Hughes, sits on the IBE board.
To incentivize homeowners to improve their homes’ resiliency, Florida lawmakers passed H.B. 799 earlier this year, which requires insurance companies to provide premium reductions for homes with wind uplift prevention solutions. This law will go a long way to help prevent the roof of a home from being lost in the face of a natural disaster.
Homeowners, particularly those in hurricane-vulnerable areas, looking to strengthen the overall structure of their home, ensure overall comfort, and reduce their utility costs, should look to spray foam insulation as a vital building material to help your home weather the storm.