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CBC: At Three Little Pigs Lab, Western researchers break buildings to save them from hurricanes

Western University, hurricanes, Hurricane Irma, climate change, climate, weather, Greg Kopp, Three Little Pigs Lab, Insurance Research Lab for Better HomesHow do you beat a hurricane?

You could start by creating one of your own.

As Hurricane Irma lashes the northern Caribbean with 295 km/h winds, a group of Western University engineers are replicating high-wind conditions to learn how to build structures that can withstand the worst windstorms.

The research happens at what’s officially called the Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes. Those who work there call it the Three Little Pigs research lab (think Big Bad Wolf). A tall steel building placed among the aircraft hangars near London’s airport, the research facility is big enough to accommodate a typical two-storey building.

To recreate hurricane-force winds in the lab, the researchers use a complicated system of fans that simulate the same suction forces that can peel roofs off buildings during severe storms.

Read the full article here.

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