TAMPA — Video and photographs from testing conducted at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s (IBHS) unique Research Center are part of the National Building Museum’s newest exhibit, Designing for Disaster, which opened to the public on May 11. Designing for Disaster is a multimedia exhibition that focuses on new approaches in design and engineering to protect life and property against a range of natural hazards. The exhibition is organized by the destructive forces associated with each of the elements: earth, air, fire, and water.
The IBHS video highlights the Institute’s FORTIFIED construction standards. A pair of full-scale, two-story, 1,300-square-foot houses were placed next to each other in IBHS’ test chamber — one was built using conventional construction standards common in the Midwest, and the other was built to IBHS’ FORTIFIED for Safer Living standards for the Midwest. Both houses were subjected to the same severe thunderstorm conditions, and while the house built using FORTIFIED standards suffered minimal damage, the house built using conventional standards was reduced to a pile of rubble.
See footage from the test at https://www.disastersafety.org/research-center/2010-ibhs-research-center-grand-opening.
“IBHS conducts objective, scientific research to identify, evaluate, and promote effective ways to strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of property damage,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “Translating our research into actionable information for consumers is critical, which is one of the reasons we’re very enthusiastic about being part of this exciting new exhibit.”
Artifacts from several past natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the Waldo Canyon wildfire in Colorado, and the earthquake that hit the Washington, DC, area a couple of years ago, strongly convey – and personalize – the destructive power of nature. Multimedia components include profiles of experts on various types of disasters, recordings from memorable disasters, and interactive displays that will allow visitors to test their disaster preparedness by choosing the best recourse in disaster scenarios.
The exhibition closes with images and stories of everyday people who have taken steps, both large and small, to safeguard their homes and families against disasters, and visitors will be challenged to take similar actions.
“We hope this exhibit engages people in both national and local conversations about resilience and building safety. While we can’t move homes, businesses, and communities out of Mother Nature’s way, we can make them more resilient when disasters inevitably occur,” stated Rochman.