Faculty of EngineeringThe University of Western Ontario

The Three Little Pigs Research Project at
The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes

Project Impact

One's home usually represents one’s single most significant personal investment, not just in North America, but all over the world. The long term goal of this research is to develop anticipatory mitigation strategies to save people’s homes from the destructive environmental forces of nature. Research results will be implemented by: (1) modifying building codes to advance safer, yet less expensive houses; (2) working with the insurance industry and government to develop implementation strategies; (3) developing cost-effective mitigation devices for retro-fitting the existing housing stock; and (4) developing quality-control strategies to minimize human error in construction. We cannot stop natural hazards from occurring; rather, after the next Hurricane Andrew strikes, we hope to look back and see how much better our houses performed.

The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes will also allow alternative construction methods and materials to be rigorously evaluated. The simulated full-scale wind loading will be controlled to the extent that geometrically similar structures made of different materials can be fairly compared. For example, it would be possible to subject a structure framed with lightweight steel to an identical program of simulated turbulent wind loading as a structure framed conventionally with wood to determine which performs better.