FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living®

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  • 8/6/2019 FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living



    FORTIFIED FOR SAFER LIVINGSince its creation in 2000, the Insurance Institute or Business & Home Saetys

    FORTIFIED or Saer Living program has provided builders and residents with an

    opportunity to create stronger, more resilient communities in the ace o severe

    weather events.

    The programs engineering-based, code-plus standards or new construction

    have been embraced by builders around the country as a means o

    distinguishing themselves in a competitive marketplace.IBHS rmly believes the most eective way to achieve resilience is to take a

    community-wide approach to mitigation and strong construction practices. As a

    result, IBHS recognizes those builders who have created FORTIFIED communities

    in some o the nations most vulnerable states. The ollowing community proles

    are intended to showcase these pioneers.

    A program of the InsuranceInstitute for Business & Home Safety

  • 8/6/2019 FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living



    A typical day on Galveston Island in exas includes picturesque views and

    coastal liestyle. For residents in Beachtown, there is another constant: therom living in a FORIFIED or Saer Living community.

    Beachtown, Texas

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    Im an engineer by training, says Beachtown

    Founder Togh Shirazi, so I intended to push ourengineers and designers to higher and higherstandards to better resist the orces o nature.

    Co-existing with the natural environment has beenat the heart o Beachtown since its inception, but themove to build every house to FORTIFIED standardswas made ater construction o the inrastructurewas temporarily interrupted by Hurricane Rita in2005. Soon ater, FORTIFIED requirements were

    written into the communitys deed restrictions.This was a pioneering eort as Beachtown was therst community in Texas to implement the standardor an entire community, Shirazi says.

    Shirazi learned about FORTIFIED rom Andres Duany,the ounder o Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company(DPZ) and master planner or Beachtown. Duany,who also employed the FORTIFIED standard in theAlys Beach community in Florida, is a renownedarchitect who co-ounded the Congress or the

    New Urbanism (CNU), which was recognized by theNew York Times as the most important collectivearchitectural movement in the United States in thepast 50 years. To achieve the goal o emulating thebeautiul traditional architecture ound in Galveston,Shirazi also invited a group o architects rom theNew Urban Guild to join the eort. The eort hasresulted in the design o many beautiul homesranging rom Coastal Vernacular to Victorian-stylearchitecture.

    The benets o building to the IBHS disaster-resistant

    construction standard were reinorced whenHurricane Ike roared through Beachtown in 2008.

    The community sustained no structural damage toany o the homes or buildings, with the exception othe breakaway zones on the uninhabited rst oorsthat perormed as they were intended.

    The FORTIFIED program has provided peace omind to our residents and its implementationhas helped set Beachtown apart as the premieresustainable community on the Texas Coast, said


    Its important to understand this wasnt a matter oluck. It was built on the experience we gained over20 years o hurricanes, Duany told Coastal Livingmagazine. This statement holds true not only or theelements within the community but in the designand construction o the homes. Beachtown has beeneatured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Timesand on ABC News, and it was chosen as the locationor the Coastal Living Magazine 2008 Idea House.

    By oering residents the ability to live a morecareree liestyle in a place that has plenty oweather-related concerns, Beachtown and theFORTIFIED standard are bringing to lie thecommunitys motto o living a Simple Lie by theSea.

    For more inormation about Beachtown, visit

    g a laidback

    mind that comes

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    Located on the Bolivar Peninsula in exas, the communities o Audubon V

    stunning views o the Gul o Mexico and Galveston Bay; and while that mwhat they dont see that gives them the peace o mind to call this vulnerabCrown eam exas group, these communities were the frst in the state o FORIFIED or Saer Living standard.

    Laguna Harbor

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    The combination o the code-plus new construction

    standards provided by IBHS and the more than 40years o experience o Jim Hayes, ormer managingprincipal o Beaumont-based Crown Team, proveda winning one. In 2008, the Bolivar Peninsula wasground zero or Hurricane Ike in terms o the higheststorm surge levels and wind conditions. The homeswere built to the requirements created when theFORTIFIED program was rst launched in 2000, andthese requirements are a mixture o perormanceand prescriptive criteria. Hurricane Ike providedthe rst instance when homes built to theserequirements were subjected to winds exceedinghurricane orce.

    When the hurricane was over, 10 homes in AudubonVillage were the only ones let standing andhabitable, despite having been surrounded by270 other homes beore the storm. A driving orcebehind the survivability o the FORTIFIED homes wasthe combination o the IBHS programs standardsand the home design and construction materialchoices made by Hayes, some o which may have

    been inuenced by FORTIFIED criteria. There werethree FORTIFIED houses that were destroyed duringthe hurricane, but not by the storm itsel. The housesthat did not survive actually were destroyed bythe impact o debris rom traditionally built homesknocked o their oundations by storm surge.

    That is a statement as to why you need to have

    entire communities built to these better standards,Hayes says. In Laguna Harbor, where everything wasbuilt this way, we had no homes destroyed.

    Hayes, who also helped design, manuacture andcomplete the rst modular home to be designatedunder the FORTIFIED program, has since movedon to a new project. This time hes set his sights onsteel rame construction techniques or commercial,residential and multi-unit homes and businesses.

    He hopes to once again partner with IBHS to earnFORTIFIED standards or uture projects.

    For more inormation about Audubon Village, To learn moreabout Laguna Harbor, visit

    nd Laguna Harbor oer residents

    what initially attracts residents, itso land home. Developed by Tehave homes designated to the IBHS

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    When it comes to battling severe tropical conditions, homes in Bermuda a

    perorm well. Te developers o a Florida community took a page rom Ccommunity where every house will be FORIFIED or Saer Living.

    Alys Beach

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    The community o Alys Beach is situated along

    Scenic Route 30A, which runs parallel to the Gul oMexico or 18.5 miles between Panama City Beachand Destin. This area is no stranger to hurricanes.At rst glance, there clearly is something dierentabout this sprawling homestead that has risen romthe sugary sands.

    Developer Jason Comer and EBSCO Gul CoastDevelopment, Inc., embraced Bermudianarchitecture in constructing this community, whichwill eventually have 900 homes, all built to the

    FORTIFIED or Saer Living standard. The propertyincludes a 22-acre nature preserve, an amphitheater,a beach club and spa, and a town center.

    From the concrete tile roos to the smooth whiteexteriors that cover walls made rom lled concreteblocks, Alys Beach exudes both the airy romanceo the Caribbean and the condent strength oa community that is built to last. In addition tobeing disaster resistant, the homes and the entirecommunity are intended to embrace proven

    environmental practices.

    In the tradition o island homes, the architectsincluded porches, galleries and gated openingsthat take advantage o the sea breezes. Thisallows 30 percent to 40 percent o the useable

    space to remain comortable without installing

    air conditioning. The Antiguan practice o usingclerestories takes advantage o natural light romabove, while outside pavers make the most o theareas propensity or rainall by directing 35 percento the water back into the ground. Even the processo building has been made greener by reusing orrecycling up to 75 percent o construction waste.

    Alys Beachs Master Planner Andres Duany, oundero Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ), is nostranger to creating Floridian communities. DPZs

    projects have received numerous awards, includingtwo national American Institute o Architectsawards and two Governors Urban Design Awardsor Excellence. The rms early project o Seaside,Florida, was the rst authentic new town to be builtsuccessully in the United States in over ty years. In1989, Time Magazine selected Seaside as one o the10 Best o the Decade achievements in the eld odesign.

    gua traditionally have proven to

    n history when designing the frst

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    Homebuyers hoping to settle in the Grande Dunes area, a 2,200-acre maststretches rom the Atlantic Ocean to beyond the Intracoastal Waterway, inbuilders to choose rom when looking or the FORIFIED or Saer Livin

    Grand Dunes

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    The beautiul Grand Strand area o South Carolinais home to Myrtle Beach, which stretches or 60miles along the coast. Since 2009, Arthur RutenbergHomes and Monterey Bay Homes, LLC has oeredbuyers a chance to live in houses designed or howthey want to live and also where, which in this case isabout 2 blocks rom the Atlantic Ocean.

    The Grande Dunes community represents the ourcornerstones o the companys heritage: design,

    cratsmanship, service and responsibility. Theresponsibility extends not only to standing by theirproduct, but also to oering homes built to theIBHS FORTIFIED or Saer Living disaster-resistantconstruction standard, says Building CompanyPresident Jamie Brewer.

    Our community is a second home and retirementmarket, Brewer says. By building a house to theFORTIFIED standard, our homeowners know theycan just lock the door and leave without thinkingtwice about whether it will stand up i the weatherturns bad. For second homeowners, they know theirhome will perorm well even i they are away orseveral months.

    FORTIFIEDs disaster-resistant standards areimportant in an area that was in the path oHurricane Hazel in 1954, and Hurricane Hugo in1989. The FORTIFIED guidelines require the builder

    to tie the house together rom the roo to the wallsand the walls to the oundation, engineer the hometo withstand winds 20 mph above the wind speeddesignated by the building code, and to protectthe windows and doors against impact and waterintrusion, among other things.

    The result is a home that is as strong on the inside asit is beautiul on the outside. More importantly, it isa home that will be standing strong even i the area

    aces severe weather.

    You dont have to sacrice aesthetics to build tothe FORTIFIED standard, says Brewer, who has morethan 10 years experience with Arthur Rutenberg.Because we are located on the coast, FORTIFIED isvery viable in our marketplace. Youre getting a muchsturdier house, but the FORTIFIED techniques haveno aect on the aesthetics.

    To learn more about Grande Dunes, visit www.

    ned community thatBeach, S.C., have three



  • 8/6/2019 FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living



    A typical day on Galveston Island in exas includes picturesque views and

    liestyle. For residents in Beachtown, there is another constant: the peace oFORIFIED or Saer Living community.

    Classic Homes

  • 8/6/2019 FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living



    Through its partnership with the Insurance Institute

    or Business & Home Saety (IBHS), Classic HomeBuilding & Design, Inc. oers its homebuyers thechance to have their new home FORTIFIED orSaer Living. In the last ve years, the rm hasconstructed more than 40 homes along the SouthCarolina coast that have earned the code-plusFORTIFIED designation. What sets Grande Dunesapart is the act that the company has built all 12 oits homes to the FORTIFIED standard.

    Berkley White, owner and vice-president o ClassicHome Building & Design, says the FORTIFIEDprogram brings the homeowner a necessary extraoption in a location that is vulnerable to hurricanes.

    Its a great program, White said. It really gives a loto peace o mind to us as the builder, as well as thehomeowner.

    White said that the FORTIFIED option or clients giveshis company an advantage and that homeownershave come to really embrace the idea o having a

    stronger, saer home. White noted that consumersare beginning to realize why the modest costincreases to achieve the FORTIFIED standard areworthwhile.

    We have been able to educate clients about why

    they are getting a better and ar superior product,he said. Weve had great success here and havehad a great response rom home owners, but it is aneducational process or both the homeowner and orus.

    White noted that the program is still in its inantstages and that the learning curve is an ongoingprocess. An eective teaching tool is to physicallyshow a homeowner exactly what a FORTIFIEDhome looks like and what it can do or their homes

    saety. Videos rom the IBHS Research Center thatdemonstrated the perormance o a FORTIFIEDhome versus a traditionally constructed home whensubjected to hurricane-orce winds are another toolbuilders can use to help in the education process.

    Even in difcult economic times, White said thecompany is committed to continuing to build tothe FORTIFIED standard because o a dedication toa quality product that helps to put Classic HomeBuilding & Design in a league o their own.

    For more inormation on the company, visit

    g a laidback coastal

    that comes rom living in a

  • 8/6/2019 FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living



    In tight fnancial markets, builders must fnd a way to separate themselves

    resistant construction has proven to be eective in doing just that or CarrSouth Carolina. Carrell is one o three builders oering FORIFIED homoers homes throughout the Carolinas.

    Carrell Homes

  • 8/6/2019 FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living



    he pack. Oering disaster-

    mes in North Carolina andrande Dunes, but also

    We think we oer a unique niche in the market

    because we can build these big, beautiul mansions,but also provide this FORTIFIED option, said GrantDuBose, vice president o operations or CarrellHomes. We sought to become the expert homesaety builder and this program helps get us there.

    Although many o their homes are targeted atmiddle-to-high income clients, DuBose said theyare encouraging buyers at every price point to makeFORTIFIED eatures part o their new home.

    Carrell Homes is somewhat new to the InsuranceInstitute or Business and Home Saetys FORTIFIEDor Saer Living program, but within a short amounto time the company has seen the program becomea success among clients looking to increase theirhomes saety. In 2011, the group began oering theFORTIFIED upgrades to their clients and 80 percenthave agreed to incorporate the code-plus standards.

    The FORTIFIED homes have been more popularthan we thought they would be, DuBose said. It

    is something now that we are really aggressivelypushing to our clients.

    Dubose noted that so ar this year they have built

    eight homes under FORTIFIED program standards.He expects at least two more to be built by the endo this year, and he hopes as many as 20 additionalFORTIFIED homes will be part o their communitiesby 2013.

    All o the homes built using FORTIFIED standardsby Carrell Homes have been constructed alongthe coast, which DuBose said adds the necessaryprotections in case o a severe storm.

    We really eel like it puts our best oot orward inimproving the structure o the homes we build, saidDuBose.

    To learn more about Carrell Homes,

  • 8/6/2019 FORTIFIED Communities - Pioneering Builders Embrace FORTIFIED for Safer Living


    To learn more about IBHS FORTIFIED or SaerLiving program, visit andclick on the FORTIFIED tab under Initiatives on theright side o the screen.

    PHONE (813) 286-3400


    [email protected]

    FAX (813) 286-9960

    The Insurance Institute or Business & Home Saety (IBHS) mission is to conductobjective, scientic research to identiy and promote eective actions thatstrengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters andother causes o loss. Please visit our web site at

    Insurance Institute or Business & Home Saety4775 East Fowler Ave

    Tampa, FL 3361(813) 286-3400