HURRICANE PROOF CONSTRUCTION

With over 1000 houses in several countries, some for almost 30 years, we were bound to have weathered a few hurricanes. The Caribbean beach resorts were successively exposed to Hugo, Frederic, David and a host of other hurricanes with no damage whatsoever. One occupant weathered Hugo from his living room bay window and commented humoristically: "Inside, it's quiet and still while outside, it's a raging inferno. I felt I was sitting safely inside an ambulance looking out"

On September 5, 1995, as the worst storm to ever hit Sint Maarten (Dutch Antilles), hurricane Luis had wind
s of 185 mph gusting to over 200 mph (~340km). This category 5 hurricane had the bad idea to just sit on Guana Bay Beach for 12 straight hours, a horrible rarity causing $2B in damage. Over 80% of houses we damaged and the island closed down to tourism for a long time. Around our 40 condos, concrete swimming pools were floated away, all plants lost all leaves and then limbs, massive concrete block houses were thrown down, concrete sidewalks and bulkwalls were exploded by the boiling sea. Yet as an upcoming video to be seen here will show, we had a $2500 damage per house average, mostly acrylics for the upstairs balcony railings and a few outside AC units torn off. Out of 400, we lost one window. This did NOT happen by chance...and I was there in person, witnessing the entire event from unit #26. For the next two weeks, I scoured the island to find out WHAT BREAKS and WHAT RESISTS during a hurricane. This is my unofficial Post Graduate Study Program. Conclusion: You need to know that you never know enough, but you also need to share what you know better with all those around you. That is the leitmotiv of the ARCHIMEDE INSTITUTE