TERRE HAUTE —
A Terre Haute man has developed a building construction system that increases the strength of a home, especially from a tornado.
Terry V. Jones developed the steel bracket system and even obtained a U.S. patient in 2002. He and his brother, Tom, market the brackets under their company name Easy Set Inc.
The steel connectors are placed every two feet and screwed into set trusses, center beams, floor joists and purlins providing a strong framework.
A complete bracket set provides about 4,800 pounds of strength every two feet for upward forces. “It would save your house. A tornado would lift the whole house up before it would tear it apart,” Jones said.
In the aftermath of a tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., Fred Haan, a mechanical engineering professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, said studies he has conducted indicate lift forces pushing up during a tornado are two to three times greater than straight line wind forces.
Haan is working to get builders to use connections between the roof and the walls, and walls and the foundation for buildings to better resist being pulled apart during a tornado.
Jones has worked with steel for the past 40 years, working as a welder and as a boilermaker.
He initially developed the bracket system as an easy, no-measuring way to install roofing and rafters on a home, as well as walls. “I worked with steel for so many years when it comes to connecting things, mostly steel in brackets, so I figured why couldn’t I put wood in brackets,” Jones said.
The brackets are in 8-foot sections. For an 80-foot long house, the roof trusses would have 10 brackets on each side, costing $400. For an average home constructed using all brackets, the cost would be about $1,600, Jones said.
Jones said GemCo near Danville, Ill., produces his bracket system.
Jones said he hopes to reach contractors to regularly use the system. Some contractors, he said, say the system would slow them down during construction, even though the system provides a much stronger home.
“It is very hard to get anybody to use something new,” he said. “I have been trying to get [contractors] to use this for a while. It is easy to use and makes a home much stronger. You can’t be too strong in a tornado or even a hurricane.”
For more information on the system visit www.easysetinc.com or contact Jones at 812-201-9888.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.