St. Lucie County Hurricane House
The University of Florida / St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension Regional Windstorm Damage Mitigation Training and Demonstration Center (a.k.a. The Hurricane House) is one of four Centers across Florida. The St. Lucie County Center was funded courtesy of the Florida Department of Insurance. Technical support was provided by the University of Florida Program for Resource Effecient Communities. Additionally, several donors contributed to this project.
The Florida Department of Insurance entered into a contract with the Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing at the University of Florida to supervise the design and construction of the four "Hurricane Houses." The other three Hurricane Houses are located in St. Johns, Escambia and Browards Counties .
The basic concept for the Hurricane House is for it to appear like a residential structure on the order of 3,000 square feet. Inside the building is a lobby/reception area flanked by an office for the regional technical specialist and a publication room for printed handout materials. A training room with a 40-50 person capacity is the central feature of the building. The exterior walls of the training room include sections illustrating existing construction: one is built using "typical" wood frame construction and the other is built using "typical" concrete block construction. The other sections of the building are built using one of the alternative building systems. Throughout the building, especially in the two "typical" construction wall sections, there is a cut-away section covered with transparent materials to reveal internal structural features. These transparent panels provide visual access to connectors, fasteners, reinforcing, and other structural features that either can be added to existing structures or are incorporated as part of the alternative building systems that increase wind resistance of the structure.
The Hurricane House serves as the Treasure Coast regional facility to disseminate information related to all aspects of enhancing the wind resistance of existing and new housing. The Hurricane House is conveniently located at St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension facility on Picos Road in Ft. Pierce. For more information or to request a tour, please call (772) 462-1660.
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