I-Corps: Innovative Hurricane Damage Mitigation Systems Grant

I-Corps: Innovative Hurricane Damage Mitigation Systems .


  • A significant proportion of damage to buildings in hurricanes occurs owing to weak connections between the roof and the walls. Innovative connection system is a high priority research topic in building construction and needs careful consideration for new construction as well as for retrofitting existing buildings in hurricane-prone areas. This I-Corps project will help determine the commercial viability of an innovative, efficient, and nonintrusive roof-to-wall connection for wood-frame structures. The new connection system will have significant practical applications in improving the hurricane resiliency of coastal residential buildings by providing means for rapid, cost-effective retrofits through minimally intrusive techniques. The proposed project will serve the national interest as the new technology can significantly enhance built environment sustainability and development of hurricane-resilient communities, thus contributing to greater economic competitiveness of the U.S. coastal region. Strategic alliances with industry and an integrated market-driven approach will help to commercialize such technologies. Streamlined research-to-market process with expeditious technology transfer and commercialization of products has the potential for advancing the national prosperity and welfare by reducing risk to life and fostering new companies in the U.S. coastal states, requiring a skilled workforce, thus creating new jobs. The scope of this I-Corps team project is to demonstrate the readiness to transition a technology that has been developed by previously-funded NSF project. Past studies and experiments have revealed that the performance of traditional hardware-type, intrusive roof-to-wall connections (e.g. hurricane clips, toe-nail connections) can be the cause of serious building safety problems in extreme wind events (e.g. hurricanes). To eliminate these problems an innovative roof-to-wall connection system applicable to residential wood buildings has been developed. The methodology is to use strips of high-performance fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) materials applied with high-strength adhesives to create an effective load path from the roof through the walls. The connection is cost-effective, light, strong, and non-intrusive, and is applicable to new construction as well as for retrofitting of existing buildings that require strengthening against extreme wind loads with minimally intrusive techniques. The strength of the connection is provided by the high tensile strength of the fiber composites. The non-intrusiveness of the system eliminates water-infiltration problems and the strength degradation of the members being connected. The new technology has the potential for significantly contributing to achieving hurricane resilient communities and advancing the state-of-the-art in hurricane damage mitigation.

date/time interval

  • April 10, 2015 - October 31, 2016

sponsor award ID

  • 1541142