After hurricane Andrew devastated Miami in 1992, there was an immediate need for enhanced building codes for rebuilding. Lacking the time for slow - moving state and federal studies, Dade County instituted the most stringent building codes in the U.S. When researchers finally completed their delve into why some neighborhoods were mostly flattened while adjacent neighborhoods were mostly unscathed by Andrew, they decided that the requirements of the Miami - Dade building code were mostly overkill. The two most important factors leading to home damage turned out to have been 1) home builders that violated existing codes for anchors to attach walls to the concrete slab and hurricane straps to attach roofs to walls and 2) use of staples instead of roofing nails to attach roof shingles (which was allowed under the old building code).
Because Dade County acted quickly, their building code has become the de facto standard for hurricane - resistant construction in the past two decades. You can buy windows and doors that meet these standards, and therefore don't need aluminum storm shutters over them.
It's not that concrete is much more expensive in the U.S. than in many countries. It's that lumber is so much cheaper here than in many parts of the world.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer
on Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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