Building A Cyclone Rated Modular Home

12/11/2021

Hundreds of Western Australian homes have recently been devastatingly destroyed due to cyclones and strong winds. When choosing a new home, reports have shown that millions of Aussies are not taking into consideration how extreme weather conditions could risk their homes and more importantly their lives.

Ensuring your home is upgraded to cyclone-rated is one of the safest things you can do when living in rural-coastal areas. While we do not get many here in WA, it only takes one to cause a whole lot of irreversible damage and it is likely we may see similar events in the future.

In line with the current building-boom it has been predicted that new home builds are facing up to a 3-year completion time, leaving victims homeless. Understandably most people cannot afford to wait with these delays plus the yearly price fluctuations.

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BENEFITS OF BUILDING A MODULAR HOME

Modular homes are becoming the more popular choice for those who are looking to build (or re-build) in these situations especially for the more rural areas. At Evoke Living Homes our build times are phenomenally faster as modular homes are constructed on site in Northam and then transported to location 95% completed. Unlike most builders we are also not affected by weather delays or construction shortages.

CAN MODULAR HOMES BE CYCLONE RATED?

A common question we frequently get asked is 'Can your modular homes be designed to be cyclone rated?' And the answer is, yes, quite easily.

Australia is divided into four Cyclonic Regions depending on the wind class's. All our homes are built in accordance with the National Construction Code to the required wind category rating. 

If you are unsure if your new home is going to be in a cyclonic region, there is a helpful map published in the National Construction Code. The map highlights the major wind classification regions, which is important for structural engineers to take into consideration when designing your new home.

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Another important point to consider in all this is that your home design is likely to be unique, as will be the topography and terrain of your site. Therefore, the wind rating for a modular home needs to be considered individually. 

Our homes are individually assessed by a qualified structural engineer to determine the wind class for you new home. The following three points are the primary considerations that go into deciding the appropriate rating for your new modular home.

  • The wind region your home is located in as shown on the map above.
  • The terrain category determines if your home is located in a built-up area with lots of shielding or in a flat, open space right on the beach front with no shielding. The category will take into account what the terrain is like within 500m of your home.
  • The topographic class takes into account whether the location of your home is on a slope, how steep the hill is and whether you’re on the windward side of the mountain.

WHAT IS DONE TO ACHIEVE A CERTAIN CYCLONE RATING FOR A MODULAR HOME?

Once the structural engineer has analyzed your site, your house design and the relevant standards, they will decide on the required wind rating.

The beauty of a modular home is that because it is already designed to withstand high wind loads and movement for transport, there aren’t a lot of structural changes needed to achieve a high cyclonic rating. The most significant upgrades to construction include:

  • Upgrading windows and glazed doors to withstand high wind pressure and avoid water penetration
  • Wall frames upgraded by placing studs closer together
  • Roof battens upgraded to cyclonic battens
  • Cyclone rated roof sheeting 
  • Cyclone rated fixtures and screws

In some cases, engineers may require concrete strip footings on site following delivery of the home to ensure your home is 100% cyclonic proof.

RE-BUILD BETTER:

Did you know that rotten timber and termite-attacked homes were a common contribution to damages caused during a cyclone? Check out our previous blog to read about how our modular houses are steel-frame constructed and are deterrent to such things.

At Evoke we will build your home to all its requirements, including upgrading wall frames, fixtures, doors and windows to be able to protect within the building and to minimize any damage after the cyclone has been through, along with upgrading to cyclonic rated roofing and wall cladding in accordance to the 'Low-High-Low' pressure testing requirements of the Building Code of Australia, plus whole lot more. You can be sure that you are in the right hands.

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Planning ahead goes a long way in these situations so think wisely about the choices you will be making when selecting your builder.

GET IN TOUCH

Always double check what your local requirements are with your local counsel. For more information about upgrading your new modular home to cyclonic rated, contact us on 1300 138 653 or click here to have one of our friendly sales team reach out to you.

 

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