System Magazine, March 2003
Proponents of modular homes have long maintained that the building system produces structures
that are far stronger than site-built structures. For example,
the modular sections are well built to withstand the stresses
of highway travel, containing up to 30% more building materials
than a comparable site-built home. Drywall is often both glued
and screwed to wall studs and triple headers are used over
window openings and around stairwells to withstand the stress
of transportation and being lifted by a crane.
Recently the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) confirmed that modular homes withstood a hurricane
far better than site-built housing. In its report "building
Performance: Hurricane Andrew in Florida," assessment
teams from FEMA concluded that modular homes withstood the
131-155 mph winds of the Category 4 storm in August 1992 far
better than site-built housing.
"Overall, relatively minimal structural
damage was noted in modular housing developments. The module-to-module
combination of units appears to have provided an inherently
rigid system that performed much better than conventional
residential framing. This was evident in both the transverse
and longitudinal directions of the modular buildings,"
claims the report.
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