PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - New construction near the hurricane velocity zone in the three coastal counties means homes are being elevated and in the case of some, like a home going up in Pass Christian, concrete is being used because, it's a storm-resistant material.
"It's a fortified structure. That means as with other concrete structures, this home can survive really any wind load you can put on it, along with water. That includes resistance to a tornado or an earthquake, along with resistance to hurricanes," said Marius Tent, with Gulf Concrete Technology.
The home is concrete through and through, from top to bottom. The roof, floors, and walls are all constructed with panels made from the Long Beach based company Gulf Concrete Technology.
This technique has been used extensively in Florida for years. It's still relatively new in coastal Mississippi. The company has built six homes in South Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina, but that's expected to change.
"In the next one to two years, we project another 300 homes," Tent said.
This is an example of what contractors, both in the residential and commercial markets, are calling sustainable development.
Besides offering protection from the force of a hurricane, the concrete structural components used promote energy efficiency and fire and termite protection. Tent said homeowners can also expect a reduction in insurance rates.
A polystyrene core is sandwiched between two layers of wire mesh and covered in mortar. Eventually stucco will be added. From the outside, this will look like any other house. The difference will be a concrete frame versus wood.
Tent said the cost is comparable to traditional construction, primarily because of fewer labor costs.