Generalized Cost-Effectiveness of Residential Wind Mitigation Strategies for Wood-Frame, Single Family House in the USA

Carol Friedland, Kleinpeter, Shelly

Wind is one of the deadliest and most expensive hazards in the United States, with hurricane winds causing $3.8 billion in annual losses on average. Despite enhanced construction practices to reduce wind damage, annual losses continue to increase along with storm severity and frequency. Efficacy of mitigation strategies needs to be evaluated to lower the cost associated with wind hazard. Therefore, the goal of this study is to determine the cost effectiveness of mitigation strategies for both new and retrofit construction.

Net benefit (the difference between life-cycle wind loss before and after implementation of the mitigation strategy) was determined for 15 different mitigation strategies with construction costs ranging from $1,200 to $12,000 and a time horizon, or building life-cycle, ranging between 5 and 30 years and using ASCE 7 wind contours. Payback periods were also calculated, with results summarized by cost-effectiveness. This method is locationspecific, meaning that it takes into account the wind contour that a building falls in. In the context of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) FORTIFIED programs, this study found that:

  • Providing improved roof deck attachment and sealing the roof deck (elements of FORTIFIED Roof) reduce wind loss by at least 19%, up to 38%
  • Additionally providing window and garage door protection (elements of FORTIFIED Silver) reduces wind loss by at least 66%, up to 73%
  • Additionally providing roof to wall connections (elements of FORTIFIED Gold) reduces wind loss by at least 68%, up to 80% 30-yr Wind Loss as a Proportion of Building Value by ASCE 7 Wind Speed Contour A generalized recommendation list is provided for use by homeowners, decision-makers, developers, stakeholders, etc.

This list provides insight into which mitigation practices are most cost efficient and can aid in weighing the pros and cons of various mitigation techniques, thus informing the decision-making process and facilitating a better understanding of the effectiveness of these strategies. This study provides detailed and 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 Wind Loss Wind Speed Contour (mph) Unmitigated FORTIFIED Roof Elements FORTIFIED Silver Elements FORTIFIED Gold Elements informative guidance for decision-makers and other stakeholders to improve their understanding of the effectiveness of various mitigation strategies which can ultimately enhance community resilience, reduce economic losses, and form a basis for building code revisions.

To see the results in detail and read more about our peer-reviewed publication on this research. click on the link below. Orooji, F., Friedland, C. J., Savio, R. D., Taghinezhad, A., Massarra, C. C., Bushra, N., & Rohli, R. V. (2022). Generalized Cost-Effectiveness of Residential Wind Mitigation Strategies for Wood-Frame, Single Family House in the USA. Frontiers in Built Environment, 7.

4/20/2023 2:20:59 PM
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