A new ventilation system being touted on Grand Cayman could be the difference between a house destroyed in a hurricane and a home spared.
People in the construction industry gathered at the George Town Public Library on Thursday, 21 October, to learn about new technology that can lessen the damage to structures from hurricanes.
John Harvey of the Building Performance Americas in Bradenton, Florida, told about a new form of ventilation developed and promoted from the Cayman Islands that allows structures to use a hurricane’s own energy against it by the way the ventilation in an attic is designed.
“This technology proved its worth during Paloma and in addition to assisting in its development, we are involved getting it into the public domain,” said Caymanian builder Garth Arch.
According to the company’s website, the vents “significantly reduce roof uplift failure, rain intrusion, ceiling collapse” and that the “stainless steel mesh will keep out insects and rodents”.
The science behind the engineering of the new technology was the brainchild of Bob Platts of Canada, who through visiting the Cayman Islands regularly, looked at the issue of how and why roofs were vulnerable in certain hurricane conditions. The ventilation platform is to counteract these effects by not letting water in to the structure and equalizing the pressure of the storm by controlling and directing airflow.
Caymanian builder Heber Arch assisted in the development of the system.
The vents, which are made from stainless steel, are also able to stand up to salt air. Mr. John Harvey said the technology can reduce the potency of a storm by up to 50 per cent. The cost to outfit a home with this type of system is about $10,000 for a 2,000 square foot house.
Mr. Harvey said that was far less than what homeowners would have to come up with if they had to replace a roof. He added that the group hoped to influence insurers to offer customers a rebate if they choose the new ventilation design.
For more information the new ventilation design, contact Mr. Harvey at 9164568.