All posts filed under “Design


Websters: SOLUTION 1) a. the act, method or process of solving a problem b) the answer to a problem c) an explanation, clarification, etc. {the solution of a mystery}.

Eight hurricanes made landfall in the US in 2021. Estimated losses were $70 billion. IDA alone caused 95 deaths according to Forbes Magazine. Now there is Hurricane IAN, which devastated a large swath of Florida late last month (landfall 9/28/22). Although all the facts are not yet in, it is safe to say IAN killed more people in Florida alone than IDA’s wrath, and goodness only knows how many structures were lost, mainly homes. Likely in the thousands.

Update (11/5/2022): The Red Cross appears to be the first organization to venture an estimate of how many homes were destroyed or suffered major damage from Hurricane Ian: 15,000 and counting. 15,000+ is an incredibly large number, calling for a real solution.

Hurricane IAN could be the game changer. We can only hope. It is a mystery to me that a nation as large and wealthy as the United States is unable to arrive at a SOLUTION to building homes able to withstand Cat. 4, and even Cat. 5, hurricanes. It is obvious to me that the SOLUTION must involve the use of STEEL — preengineered and prefabricated for ease of assembly.

In the past I have written several articles addressing this SOLUTION. They are listed below, and are linked for ease of access. Several of these posts were in reaction to Cat. 5 Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September of 2017, with an estimated $91.61 billion in losses, and 2,975 deaths (both directly and indirectly). This year, even Cat. 1 Hurricane Fiona added heavily to the toll in Puerto Rico. In any case, the arguments posed in these blogs also apply to FLORIDA:

Worth repeating here … below is an important excerpt from my October 31, 2019 post. From a 2018 report on the potential savings of pre-disaster itigation by the National Institute of Building Sciences:

During the ongoing study, the Institute’s project team looked at the results of 23 years of federally funded mitigation grants provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and found mitigation funding can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation.

This is quite an eye-opening figure, and logically suggests that investments made in more resilient infrastructure now result in significant cost savings when weighed against the catastrophic damage these hurricanes cause. Constructing resilient homes represents a great opportunity to rebuild these islands (and Florida) in a way that will help protect the inhabitants from the future threat of hurricane damage.

Design Flexibility is a Core Feature of the HabiTek System

It may be difficult to imagine that a pre-engineered and pre-fabricated steel framing system can be highly flexible when it comes to design choices. In general, pre-fabricated building systems only provide limited design variations.

HabiTek, on the other hand, uses pre-fabricated components, but the way in which we deploy and combine them is effectively limitless. Our System Schematics page illustrates the inherent design flexibility when building with the HabiTek system.

Here’s a bit of what’s possible:

  • The framework can be readily elevated above the ground (to combat localized flooding for instance), set on a conventional concrete slab, or built atop a basement foundation wall.
  • All roof types are possible: shed, hip, gable end, and flat.
  • Depending on various factors, infill panels can be framed with wood studs (hybrid approach) or using steel studs, which would be beneficial in areas prone to wildfires. We are also exploring the use of MASS TIMBER panels, which includes cross laminated timber (CLT) and MASS PLYWOOD (MPP).
  • Also beneficial in areas prone to wildfires, the floor and roof substrates can be made with composite slabs – steel pan decking plus concrete.
  • In areas prone to hurricane force winds, or even earthquakes, a HabiTek framework can be pre-engineered to resist these forces. This is possible because the framework is comprised of bolted-together STEEL components.
  • Last, but not least, in many cases the framework can be assembled DIY. Even when this might not be feasible, the framework can be erected in much less time and with much less effort than other methods, greatly reducing labor costs. In any case, HabiTek’s approach is cost competitive with most methods of construction, including platform wood framing.

No matter your structural or design requirements, HabiTek has you covered.