Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that a new $40 million research center built by the Institute for Business & Home Safety in Richburg, SC features a massive test chamber as tall as a six-story building that can hold nine 2,300-square-foot homes on a turntable where they can be subjected to tornado-strength winds generated by 105 giant fans to simulate a Category 3 hurricane. The goal is to improve building codes and maintenance practices in disaster-prone regions even though each large hurricane simulation costs about $100,000. The new IBHS lab will be the first to replicate hurricanes with winds channeling water through homes and ripping off roofs, doors and windows. The new facility will give insurers the ability to carefully videotape what happens as powerful winds blow over structures instead of relying on wind data from universities or computer simulations. The center will also be used to test commercial buildings, agriculture structures, tractor-trailers, wind turbines, and airplanes."
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