With this year's hurricane season approaching, it's worth taking
a look back at the lessons of last year's devastating Hurricane
Ike. One success story in particular stands out: the performance of
U.S. Coast Guard barracks buildings on the island of Inagua in the
Ike hit Inagua as a Category 4 storm, with winds topping 135
mph. And the low-lying island, surrounded by water, is in a top
exposure category, with little if any protection by hills, built-up
areas, or forestation. Many buildings on the island were badly
damaged. But a set of prefabricated concrete barracks stood up to
the storm with only light cosmetic damage.
Coast Guard prefabricated concrete barracks
under construction on the island of Inagua in the Bahamas.
The 2000-square-feet units have four bedrooms each, plus a
common area. They were built as half-modules at the Florida
manufacturing facility of Royal Concrete Concepts, shipped to the
island on barges, and set in a few hours using cranes. It's a quick
and economical method for the military's remote construction needs.
However, the concept also works for more complex civilian homes.
And it offers consistent speed and quality control for
institutional buildings such as schools, or for commercial
construction. If you want to learn more, there's an extensive
gallery of photos showing the plant's tilt-up methods for making
modular units, as well as field construction techniques, at the
Royal Concrete Concepts website