creating demand for better construction
FORTIFIED Construction (To see wind test results of 92 MPH on a Fortified vs Non-Fortified Home, click here)
The FORTIFIED designation was created by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (www.disastersafety.org) to create uniform building methods that protect against damage during the most significant of environmental disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires. In our area along the Carolina Coast, the most likely of these disasters is a Hurricane, and FORTIFIED homes in this area are designed for that reason.
A “FORTIFIED” home is designed by a licensed structural engineer to meet 150 mph wind resistance. This design is then reviewed by the engineering team at the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) to ensure that the design conforms to its “FORTIFIED” criteria. Once approved, IBHS creates an inspection checklist. A third party representative uses this checklist throughout the building project to ensure the building is designed according to the plan and “FORTIFIED” standard. Following construction of the home, the project receives a FORTIFIED certification document on the home.
Both state insurance services in North and South Carolina have approved an automatic reduction on homeowner insurance rates for any FORTIFIED home. We have seen these discounts consistently reach 25% off of annual premiums, sometimes even more.
For many years, the Carrell Group has been building with the high majority of Fortified elements: Impact Glass Windows, Concrete roofs, ICF Wall systems, reinforced roof tie-down systems. Now, with some upgrades in engineering and reviews, homeowners are optimizing insurance discounts for these building methods.
In the last two years, it is more common than not for clients to request the FORTIFIED upgrade along the South Carolina coastal region. We believe the same will eventually be true along the North Carolina coast, though it is not as popular yet because it was just approved by the state insurance service in 2010.
FORTIFIED construction is approximately a 3-5 % increase in total construction costs to the homeowner. Homeowners can achieve the FORTIFIED designation with wood framed or ICF construction. The Carrell Group currently has 7 FORTIFIED projects underway.