Richburg, SC (WLTX) -- Severe weather and hurricanes are always a concern for the people of the Midlands and there is a place in Chester County working to make buildings safer.
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety conducted an experiment on Tuesday with high winds and the impact it has on a typical strip mall type building.
According to Dr. Anne Cope, "You know how to shop for the kind of interior you want when you are looking for a home or a business, you know what you want in the inside, what we are showing here today is why it is important to know what is in the walls."
In this experiment, two buildings were placed side-by-side and were subject to severe thunderstorm winds and hurricane force winds.
"We have modeled the winds to replicate an event that actually occurred in Texas and we have the data from that severe thunderstorm and we will use that for the model that we are doing today, then we turn the buildings around to face the front towards the fans and we will be modeling a hurricane," said Cope.
The two buildings held up well during the severe thunderstorm simulation, however after shooting debris through the glass store fronts, one of the buildings walls collapsed during the hurricane force winds.
Cope said, "Both of these buildings survived at first, they made it through the first onslaught of the winds, up to a gust of 135 mph."
That type of construction is that same type that is used in almost every part of this country according to the researchers, a fact that has them concerned.
"This is the difference you can achieve with really small mitigation techniques for your building and this is why you should care," said Cope.
According to the researchers, it only costs about 5% more of the total of the building to build a safer structure that is more disaster resistant than a building built using common practices.