English
English
Español
Français

Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
Metal-Era / Hickman - Sidebar Ad - Product Launch
TRA Snow & Sun - Ad - Sidebar
Equipter - Sidebar - $200 Rebate 2
IKO - Sidebar - Summit Grey
CCS-OpenForBusiness-Sidebar
Malco Tools - Sidebar Ad - Metal Benders
RoofersCoffeeShop - Where The Industry Meets!
English
English
Español
Français

Taking Resilience Seriously

FORTIFIED Taking Resilience Seriously
September 3, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

By Lauren White, RCS Reporter.

Become FORTIFIED certified and ensure homes and buildings are built to withstand all that Mother Nature throws at them.

On a 90-acre parcel of land in South Carolina is a state-of-the-art research facility complete with 105 fans that simulate wind speeds up to 130 mph and a “roof farm” that tests roofing materials against natural aging.  This facility, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Research Center, is the only lab in the world that is capable of repeatedly testing one- and two-story residential and commercial buildings in a controlled environment for realistic windstorms, wind-driven rain, hailstorms and wildfire ember storms.

IBHS recreates realistic hazards caused by severe weather and performs tests on residential and commercial construction materials to study their resiliency.  Within the facility, IBHS can replicate Category 1, 2 and 3 hurricanes, severe hail storms, wind-driven rain conditions and wildfire.  Outside they have a “roof farm” project, which consists of sections from residential and commercial roofs that are exposed and subjected to natural aging, allowing the researchers to conduct long-term testing of the roofs at different time intervals for their performance against wind, hail and wildfire.

The Research Center is funded by insurance companies such as Allstate, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, USAA and many more.  “IBHS members comprise approximately 79% of residential property insurance and 40% commercial property insurance sold in the United States,” according to IBHS.  This facility demonstrates the commitment of the property insurance industry to reduce and prevent losses that millions of home and business owners face each year due to severe weather events.  The research done at the facility has helped to develop standards for the FORTIFIED program. 

Strengthening buildings and training contractors

According to IBHS, “FORTIFIED is a nationally recognized building method that goes beyond building codes to strengthen residential and commercial buildings against specific natural hazards such as high winds and hurricanes.”  Twenty years of scientific research and testing done by IBHS was used to develop the construction standards known as FORTIFIED Home.  These standards help make homes and buildings more resilient against severe weather.  

To ensure the FORTIFIED standards are consistent and accurate throughout the country, the FORTIFIED Home program provides training and certification for professionals in the industry.  Experienced roofing professionals with a desire to expand their business and marketing possibilities would benefit from the FORTIFIED Wise™- Roofing Contractor program, which is just one of the training programs offered.  This course is specially designed for those who want to understand the important aspects of installation and documentation for roofing new or existing homes to meet the FORTIFIED standards.

Mark Zehnal is the Senior Roofing Specialist supporting the development of the FORTIFIED initiatives.  He became an employee at IBHS in 2016, but has been collaborating with engineers and researchers since 2004 on proposals that have helped improve roofing performance.  Zehnal has spent 30 years in the roofing industry and has fulfilled various roles throughout his career, such as contractor, building code compliance officer and director of technical services for the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA).  At IBHS, Zehnal also works with the staff on building code initiatives and roofing-related research.

Becoming certified differentiates your business  

To become certified as a FORTIFIED Wise-Roofing Contractor, a comprehensive training program must be completed, the FORTIFIED Wise-Roofing Contractor exam must be passed with a minimum score of 85% and professionals must meet the rigorous professional requirements set forth by IBHS.  

Upon completion, contractors receive a printed copy of their training presentation and a listing in the FORTIFIED Home Provider Directory, making it easier for homeowners to find you.  Additionally, roofing professionals are able to use the FORTIFIED Home logo and materials for marketing purposes.  Having the FORTIFIED certification instills trust in homeowners and proves you’re committed to their homes' resiliency.  It also differentiates your company and makes you more competitive in the industry.  

As the frequency and intensity of severe weather events continue to increase, the demand for home resilience is growing.  Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina have mandatory incentives for FORTIFIED homes.  Now that hurricane and hail season are in full force, professionals in regions prone to these weather events will benefit from FORTIFIED Wise training to help their customers ensure they have resilient homes and to prepare for future storms.  

The FORTIFIED standards help reduce the risk of property damage and financial loss by strengthening homes and businesses to endure Mother Nature’s fury.  After a disaster, homeowners can help reduce the cost of their community’s recovery by having a FORTIFIED certified home.  According to IBHS, “Studies show that every $1 spent on disaster mitigation saves $4 in community disaster recovery expenses.”  Additionally, FORTIFIED homes that withstand severe weather won’t end up in the landfill, decreasing homeowners’ post-disaster environmental footprint.  

The FORTIFIED Wise-Roofing Contractor training is 11 modules and right now the first module is free!  

Register now to get started at FORTIFIED Wise™ University.



Recommended For You


Comments

There are currently no comments here.

Leave a Reply

Commenting is only accessible to RCS users.

Have an account? Login to leave a comment!


Sign In
RCS - L&L contest
English
English
Español
Français

Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
TRA Snow & Sun - Ad - Sidebar
Cougar Paws - Sidebar Ad - The Tool You Wear Gif
NRCA - National Roofing Week 2024_04_09_2024
IKO - Sidebar - Summit Grey
Georgia-Pacific - Sidebar Ad - DensDeck StormX eBook
Roofle - Sidebar Ad - RoofQuote Pro