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IBHS Disaster Exhibit at National Building Museum in Washington, DC
May 11, 2014 - 12:10:19 AM

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The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is proud to announce that video and photographs from testing conducted at the organization's unique Research Center are part of the National Building Museum's newest exhibit, Designing for Disaster, which opens to the public on May 11.

"IBHS conducts objective, scientific research to identify, evaluate, and promote effective ways to strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of property damage," said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. "Translating our research into actionable information for consumers is critical, which is one of the reasons we're very enthusiastic about being part of this exciting new exhibit."

Designing for Disaster features video footage from the IBHS Research Center that highlights the Institute's FORTIFIED construction standards. A pair of full-scale, two-story, 1,300 sq. ft. houses were placed next to each other in IBHS' massive test chamber -- one was built using conventional construction standards common in the Midwest, and the other was built to IBHS' FORTIFIED for Safer LivingĀ® standards for the Midwest.

Both houses were subjected to the same severe thunderstorm conditions, and while the house built using FORTIFIED standards (which made it safer and stronger) suffered minimal damage, the house built using conventional standards was reduced to a pile of rubble. See from the test here.

Designing for Disaster is a multimedia exhibition that focuses on new approaches in design and engineering to protect life and property against a range of natural hazards. The exhibition is organized by the destructive forces associated with each of the elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

Artifacts from several past natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the Waldo Canyon wildfire in Colorado, and the earthquake that hit the Washington, DC, area a couple of years ago, strongly convey -- and personalize -- the destructive power of nature. Multimedia components include profiles of experts on various types of disasters, recordings from memorable disasters, and interactive displays that will allow visitors to test their disaster preparedness by choosing the best recourse in disaster scenarios.

The exhibition closes with images and stories of everyday people who have taken steps, both large and small, to safeguard their homes and families against disasters, and visitors will be challenged to take similar actions.

"We hope this exhibit engages people in both national and local conversations about resilience and building safety. While we can't move homes, businesses, and communities out of Mother Nature's way, we can make them more resilient when disasters inevitably occur," stated Rochman.

About The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

  • IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.

About The National Building Museum

  • The National Building Museum is America's leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves.

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