The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today announced it is working with HWind Scientific (HWS) to use its detailed archive of significant historical hurricane data, which will help IBHS associate winds from specific storms to its building performance research.
“While scientists and engineers learn from laboratory studies at the IBHS Research Center, it is very important to consistently compare lab findings with field observations of real buildings exposed to similar wind events,” said Dr. Anne Cope, vice president of research for IBHS.
“HWS wind fields are a source we trust when we work to relate the wind conditions at a post-disaster site to the observed hurricane damage. HWS technology collects data from all available real-time sources and normalizes it to standard meteorological reporting conditions, allowing them to produce wind-field maps that truly reflect the characteristics of each hurricane,” Cope explained.
The IBHS Research Center has taken the ability to conduct hurricane research to new levels by testing full-scale building performance during which component and connection strength can be accurately evaluated and system effects can be explored. The Research Center has the capability to reproduce realistic hurricane conditions, including the gust structure of high winds, debris impacts and water intrusion from wind-driven rain.
“HWS is pleased to work with IBHS to further its goal of translating its building science research into real world resilience,” said HWS CEO Dr. Mark Powell. “When IBHS researchers are sent into the field to survey the damage on the ground following a hurricane, HWS real-time data can help them focus on the locations likely to have experienced the most damage. Ultimately this will result in better guidance for home and business owners as they seek cost effective ways to reduce property damage and losses.”
“HWS is an important tool we use in communicating what really happened in particular areas impacted by a storm,” said Dr. Tim Reinhold, senior vice president of research and chief engineer for IBHS.
“For example, one of the most critical things for people living in an area impacted by a hurricane is to have an accurate estimate of the wind strength they experienced. If people latch on to the highest winds reported for a storm and think they actually experienced those winds, when they often have experienced lower winds, they might make poor decisions about evacuating in the future,” Reinhold said.
“The wind field maps produced by HWind following a hurricane will enable IBHS and others to provide accurate wind strength estimates to people affected by a particular storm,” he explained. “This is just one of the ways IBHS will utilize HWind’s objective hurricane wind data.”