Building on the success of our flagship round homes featured in our 360 Collection, we are pleased to announce a new partnership with Piggs Brothers, Inc. This partnership marks a great opportunity for us to showcase the ultimate resilience of our flagship round design.
Piggs Brothers—a Certified B Corp, just like Deltec Homes—was founded as far back as 1840 to bring innovation to the housing industry. They have a rich history of testing building materials for structural integrity. Though at first known primarily for their early R&D failures—who can forget the disasters of the straw houses of the late 1800s— they’ve since become a powerhouse in wind testing, and we’re excited to be able to use their new test facilities to push the limits of our wind resistant design. Their expertise is in part due to the peculiar methods employed by their Director of Wind Testing, Dr. B Brad Wolfe, who has developed his own patented testing method that the company calls their Huff and Puff™ system. Since there are very few wind tunnels in the world that can create wind conditions strong enough to challenge a Deltec Home, we needed to turn to the best.
“The strength of the Deltec design comes from the round shape of our structures, the quality of materials we use, and our focus on critical connections,” explains Matt Oblinsky, Director of Engineering for Deltec Homes. “The round shape optimizes wind pressure build up. Our quality materials, such as plywood instead of OSB, and diamond grade machine stress rated truss lumber, perform at known higher capacities. And our typical fastening and attachment schedule uses tighter patterns than most in the industry. The result is a structure that has been optimized from roof to foundation to resist winds. However, we wanted to engage in wind testing from the most reputable company possible, to help us continue to improve our designs.”
Some might ask how Deltec’s wood-framed design might stand up against the Piggs Brothers’ more well-known invention, the brick house.
“We’ve actually gone away from materials like that,” says Alex Pigg II, VP of Operations for Piggs Brothers. “Stone is hard to find, while brick and concrete are very energy intensive to produce, and they all have dismally low insulating value. It is imperative to reduce the energy use and the total embodied energy of homes, and I’ve always said that brick and stone just weren’t the right avenue from a total energy perspective. I’ve finally brought my brothers on board with that way of thinking. Our earlier errors were that we needed higher quality sticks with better attachment points. Adding in innovations such as off-site fabrication, which improves quality, construction tolerances and speed of dry-in time for the structure is a real game-changer. A more efficient shape helps too, benefiting wind resistance, waste optimization, and energy efficiency by offering reduced exterior surface area for the same interior square footage. That’s why we’re excited about the testing process with Deltec. They are really bringing forward the way wood-framed construction should be done.”
At an undisclosed location, Dr. Wolfe will perform the Huff and Puff™ process himself. He has informed us that he requires several weeks of preparation to get ready. He also cautions us not to be too optimistic: his test is rigorous, and many homes of all construction types have not been able to withstand the forces.
But we’re not worried.