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Coastal Engineering Company of Orleans Cape Cod
August 10, 2018

WCAI Hurricane-Resistant Home Design Interview with John Bologna, PE

It’s been 30 years since Hurricane Bob hit Cape Cod, and many meteorologists believe it’s only a matter of time before another such hurricane impacts South Eastern New England. WCAI is working on an extensive series that asks the question “Are We Ready?”

River House 4

The old-school way to hurricane-proof a home is to make sure it's sturdy and well-sited - it’s what all the old sea captains did. However these days, if we can afford it, we want to live right on the water. And when we build our homes on beaches or in the dunes, we’re putting them in harm’s way.

In this WCAI (90.1 MHz) interview, John Bologna John Bologna, PE discusses design considerations for hurricane-resistant construction with an environmental reporter Pien Huang and architect Sibel Asantugrul. John and Sibel are working on a new home on a bluff overlooking Pleasant Bay in Orleans. The home's contemporary architecture is all about bringing nature in while keeping the elements out.

This house is built to deal with Category 4 storms, with winds over 130 miles per hour. To achieve that level of protection, the bones of the house are specified to act solid as a bunker would, with steel beams hidden in the walls and the ceiling, helping to hold impact-resistant windows in place.

Those windows are made with two layers of glass, bonded by a plastic resin. In winds of up to 150 mph, when a lawn chair comes flying at your house, it might splinter, but it's not supposed to break. Metal-reinforced connections tie the roof to the walls, and the walls to the foundation. But once the walls are up, all you’ll see a big, open room with floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s a fortress masquerading as a simple home with a stellar view.