A hurricane is rising in the farmland of northwestern South Carolina, and it is going to stay there for the foreseeable future, ripping off roofs, driving rain through walls, shattering windows and shredding buildings. That’s the purpose of a $40-million building materials and assemblies test facility nearing completion in Chester County, S.C. It is designed to attack full- scale test structures with the swirling winds and rains of hurricanes, the pounding hail of severe thunderstorms, or the wind-driven embers of wildfires. The owner is the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), a Tampa, Fla.-based insurance industry group whose member
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.