Rock Me Like A Hurricane

Saturday, July 30, 2011 - 9:03am

Students put construction materials to the test with 2x4s and an air cannon.

Many people hear about the importance of a hurricane-proof room in their homes, but is wood or concrete-foam combo a better building material?

Several students from Seminole Community College tested a wooden wall with a cannon on loan from the University of Florida.

The cannon shot the 2-by-4 at 75 miles per hour, straight through the wall.

The tests were done with cinder block walls and a wall built with interconnecting foam blocks with concrete poured down the center of the re-enforcement plates.

"Who wouldn't want to build a safe house especially with the tornadoes that come and hurricane season?" student tester Clinton Cooper said.

As of right now, there are several companies offering the integrated system of foam and concrete.

"Between the foam is a solid sheer wall panel of concrete and that's what's offering the support," Tony Ruggierro said.

The foam is an added benefit -- it makes for better insulation and lower costs of air conditioning.

Although the building price is 4 to 6 percent more at first, Jim Myrick says it will cost less eventually.

"Over three to five years it costs less than any other material out there," Myrick said.

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