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Better building materials, from the nails, up

November 27th, 2006

In considering new materials with which to build our home, I’ve got to admit I didn’t expect to be rethinking: the nail.

Dr. Ed Sutt conducted an analysis of the devastation left by hurricanes and concluded the flaw that brought the homes down was not with the wood, or the design of the building, but most often with the nails used. Working with Bostitch, he developed a new kind of nail.
According to initial research: Using the Bostitch HurriQuake 2 nail adds about $15 to the cost of a 2000 sq.ft. home, but doubles a home’s resistance to high speed winds (holds against gusts up to 170mph) and adds 50% more resistance to earthquake forces.

Bostitch is doubling production every month to keep up with demand, but the nail is so far only available in the Gulf region. Toronto’s climate isn’t currently known for high speed winds or earthquakes, but a nail that holds better in extreme conditions almost certainly holds better over time as well.

If further research proves these to be worthwhile, I will likely try to get them up here for our build. I had already been wondering about putting the house together with screws instead of nails (though I’m guessing our builder might not be too keen on that). Another thought I had was to shore up their joins myself by adding an extra screw between their nails. (But more research is needed to find out just how much benefit this would provide.)

Posted by Colin