Many houses are lost in hurricanes and earthquakes, not due to failure of the wood, but due to failure of the nails to hold the structure together in gale force winds. Dr. Ed Sutt has invented a nail that solves this problem (all for about $15 more in the cost of new home construction).
Sutt’s bosses at Bostitch must be happy too. The company is selling every HurriQuake nail it produces and has been doubling production capacity every month. Although the nail is currently available only in the Gulf region (it adds about $15 to the cost of an average 2,000-square-foot house), the company is adding new production lines to meet nationwide demand. Meanwhile, the nail is getting rave reviews from building-technology experts.
“This is a major innovation,” says Tim Reinhold, director of engineering for the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an insurance-industry research group. “And in places that are affected by high winds and earthquakes, it looks like it’s going to make a big difference.”