By Barry Fleck, CEO, ALP Supply
With the recent destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the nation’s leaders will once again debate the concept of resilient construction in areas prone to disastrous weather events. In the Northeast, we experienced the full power of Mother Nature during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and advocated for resilient rebuilding in its aftermath. Some municipalities listened, and a prime example of what can be accomplished is the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk in New York, featured in the Fall issue of Precast Solutions magazine.
If building codes stress resilient construction in the future, the world needs to know about the new generation of precast concrete homes. These homes are less expensive than wood-framed houses but have a higher R-value – and they are incredibly strong. Considering the still untold billions of dollars of losses incurred from the complete destruction of thousands of stick-built homes from Harvey and Irma, the precast alternative should be strongly considered for future rebuilding in these ravaged areas.
When Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, there were a handful of homes built with various precast concrete products manufactured by NPCA member Northeast Precast right on the shoreline. They were still standing after the storm, but were surrounded by homes that were in ruins.
John Ruga, president of Northeast Precast, said that when the storm was over, the owners of the precast homes he built simply opened the garage doors, washed down the walls with a hose and were ready to move back in.
We need to strongly consider the precast solution in hurricane rebuilding and future planning. Oh, and here’s an added bonus. These homes are beautiful and easily customizable, as evidenced by our photo gallery below. Think not only of the billions of dollars that could be saved after a hurricane thanks to a precast home, but more importantly of the human suffering that could be minimized and the lives that could be saved.