what structures are hurricane resistant

What structures are hurricane resistant?

Hurricanes are very dangerous weather systems that can wipe out entire communities, resulting in billions of dollars in damages and countless casualties.

Therefore, there is a growing need for hurricane resistant structures that can withstand the destructive force of hurricanes. 

But, the question is, “What kind of building can withstand a hurricane?”

Structures constructed as per certain design principles, using specific materials, such as steel framing, reinforced concrete, and ICFs are hurricane resistant

Hurricanes and their Effects on Structures

hurricanes and their effects on structures

Understanding the characteristics of hurricanes and their effects on buildings is essential before delving into the technicalities of hurricane-proof construction.

A hurricane is a powerful storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and heavy rainfall.

Hurricanes can cause a wide range of damages to buildings, such as:

  • Damage from high winds can extend from the removal of roofs and walls to the collapse of entire structures.
  • Flooding caused by heavy rain and storm surges is a leading cause of property and infrastructure damage during natural disasters.
  • Because it can smash through glass and solid wood, wind-borne debris is a major cause of property damage.
Fact: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is commonly used to classify the strength of hurricanes, with categories ranging from 1 (the weakest) to 5 (the strongest). 

What Structures Are Hurricane Resistant?

which structures exhibit resistance against hurricanes

Those structures are hurricane resistant that are designed following specific design principles.

These design principles fortify the structure against the threats posed by such storms.

The guiding concepts of this design are: 

Load Path

Transferring the forces a hurricane generates safely from a building to the ground requires an uninterrupted load route from one end to the other.

This basic principle is essential to connecting and reinforcing all structural elements—walls, floors, and roofs.

Distributing the stresses caused by strong winds throughout the entire structure in a coordinated fashion can make it more resistant to collapse.

To ensure greater stability and resilience during extreme weather events, it is essential to implement a continuous load path in the design and construction of hurricane-resistant buildings. 

Wind Resistance

wind resistance

Buildings’ ability to withstand strong winds is crucial in protecting them from storms.

High winds exert uplift, lateral, and torsional stresses on buildings, thus they must be built to withstand them. 

Selecting robust materials like reinforced concrete or steel framing and incorporating efficient bracing systems are essential to increase wind resistance.

The resistance of a building to wind forces depends on factors such as its roof’s design, the integrity of connections between structural components, and the continuity of load routes.

By prioritizing wind resistance during the building process, homes and businesses are better able to withstand the destructive impacts of storms, saving lives and valuables.

Flood Resistance

Buildings in hurricane-prone areas must be resistant to flooding because of the high likelihood of flooding from both rain and storm surges.

flood resistance

Strategies for making buildings more resistant to flooding can greatly reduce the amount of damage they sustain during floods. 

Elevating the building on stilts, piers, or raised foundations above the floodplain is one method of protecting the interior from water damage.

Some of the most common flood-resistant materials and construction techniques include:

  • Water-resistant wall and floor materials
  • Backflow prevention devices
  • Flood vents that enable water to travel through the lower levels of a building
  • Vents to reduce hydrostatic pressure

Buildings may better withstand hurricanes and their flood dangers by adding flood-resistant design elements, which reduce property damage and protect occupants. 

Impact Resistance

impact resistance

In hurricane-prone areas, impact resistance is crucial because flying objects can cause severe damage to buildings and endanger their occupants.

Impact-resistant materials, such as laminated glass, can be used in structures to increase their resilience to impacts.

Laminated glass consists of numerous layers of glass joined together with an interlayer that prevents breaking upon impact.

By prioritizing impact resistance during the design process, we may make buildings safer for their occupants and reduce the amount of damage they might do during a hurricane.

Fact: Some people install shutters or impact-resistant screens to protect their windows and doors from flying objects during a hurricane.

Hurricane-Resistant Building Materials

hurricane-resistant building materials

When building hurricane-resistant structures, it is important to get some information about various materials that work best in tough situations.

For instance: 

Reinforced Concrete

Concrete becomes even more sturdy and long-lasting when reinforced with steel bars or fibers.

Together, these features make it an excellent material for hurricane-proof buildings, as it can survive the strong winds and flying debris that accompany such storms.

Using reinforced concrete in building construction increases the resilience of structures to hurricane-related damage, protecting people and property from harm. 

Steel Framing

steel framing

Steel framing is an excellent choice for structural framing since it is strong, durable, and long lasting.

Steel-framed buildings may resist hurricane winds with the right planning and engineering.

It is also the material of choice for hurricane-proof structures due to its resistance to high winds, uplift, and lateral forces.

As a result of its inherent strength and low maintenance needs, steel contributes to the long-term sustainability and reliability of structures in hurricane-prone areas. 

Insulated Concrete Forms

Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are cutting-edge building method that utilizes foam blocks that are both insulating and interlocking.

By filling the holes with concrete, the resulting wall system becomes strong, energy efficient, and impervious to hurricanes.

Insulated Concrete Forms

The compressive strength of some ICF walls can reach up to 4,000 psi, making ICFs the strongest building material available.

They are impervious to winds of over 200 miles per hour and debris traveling at great rates.

As an added bonus, ICFs provide high levels of thermal insulation that greatly cut down on HVAC costs.

Fact: ICFs are an excellent option for building in storm-prone areas due to their durability, energy efficiency, and resilience to hurricane damage. 

Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors

Windows and doors designed to withstand the impact of windborne debris during hurricanes are essential to protecting the building envelope and minimizing the risk of injury to occupants.

In order to avoid penetration by flying debris, these specialist fenestrations frequently use laminated glass with a strong interlayer.

Building owners can reduce the likelihood of damage and improve the safety of their property by installing such safeguards before a storm hits. 

Hurricane Straps and Ties

hurricane straps and ties

Metal hurricane straps and ties are necessary for securing a building’s structural components together.

They help to produce a continuous load path and increase the building’s overall resistance to wind.

These fasteners’ galvanized steel construction gives them durability and protection from corrosion.

They help spread the load of strong winds throughout the whole building by securing the roof, walls, and base together.

There is empirical evidence that using hurricane straps and ties increases a building’s resistance to wind uplift and lateral stresses.

Fact: The International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC) require the use of straps and ties in hurricane-prone locations. 

Types of Hurricane-Resistant Buildings

types of hurricane-resistant buildings

It is possible to develop homes, businesses, and even public buildings that can survive the winds of a hurricane.

All you have to do is ensure that you use hurricane-resistant materials and rely on the right construction techniques. 

Residential building

Constructing hurricane-proof homes or residential buildings can be constructed using reinforced concrete, steel framing, and insulated concrete forms (ICFs).

In order to make them even more sturdy, you can add things like hurricane belts, impact-resistant windows and doors, and raised foundations. 

Commercial Buildings

commercial buildings

Commercial structures such as offices, stores, and factories can all benefit from hurricane-resistant architecture.

Strong, long-lasting materials and careful structural architecture make these structures hurricane-proof, reducing the likelihood of damage and downtime. 

Public Infrastructure

There should be no downtime for essential public services, including schools, hospitals, and emergency shelters during and after a hurricane.

Using hurricane-resistant design ideas and materials including reinforced concrete, steel frame, and ICFs is essential. 

With these materials, these buildings can better withstand the forces imposed by hurricanes, keeping people safe and allowing businesses to keep running. 

Coastal Structures

coastal structures

Hurricanes and the resulting storm surges pose a significant threat to coastal structures.

It is possible to lessen the impact of hurricane-related flooding by designing these buildings with flood-resistant elements such as raised foundations or breakaway walls. 


What structures are hurricane resistant? In hurricane-prone regions, building materials that can withstand the force of the storm are critical for protecting people and property.

Only hurricane-resistant structures are able to withstand the catastrophic forces of hurricane winds and storm surges.

And it is possible if those structures use raised foundations, aerodynamic designs, reinforced concrete walls, and impact-resistant windows.