Rebuilding After Superstorm Sandy


When Superstorm Sandy wrecked the Northeast in October 2012, it was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. When all was said and done, damages from Sandy tallied over $75 billion.

The damage was especially great in New Jersey where damages totaled a whopping $36.8 billion. A 50-foot piece of the Atlantic City Boardwalk washed away, nearly half of the city of Hoboken was flooded, with over 346,000 homes damaged or destroyed across the state.


The coast of New Jersey was the hardest hit area in the state. While thousands of homes were destroyed, one Union Beach home withstood the storm.

Built using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), the home endured the damaging winds and high water that destroyed many neighboring homes. The house not only survived the storm. It was virtually unscathed, minus the loss of some exterior siding and a little damp drywall.

The homeowner’s neighbors weren’t so lucky — two homes northwest of the house were reduced to their foundations, and the house next door needed to be condemned.


Building hurricane-proof homes with ICFs

Building with ICFs allows homes to be built stronger and more energy efficient.

ICF walls are formed with the same strength and durability as a concrete foundation, making them extraordinarily resistant to high winds. In fact, a study conducted by the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University found that debris flying at 100 mph couldn’t penetrate ICFs.

In Normandy Beach, New Jersey, a family who lost their home after the storm wanted to rebuild using the strongest materials available. The new home was built using ICFs for all three stories of the home. ICF shear walls parallel to the flow of water were also used to support the overall structure, and allow the home to withstand winds up to 200 mph.


On Breezy Point in Queens, New York, construction is underway to build what is being called the #HurricaneStrong home. This home will replace a 1955 home that was destroyed by the wind, waves, and flooding of Superstorm Sandy.


The project, which is being spearheaded by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), the Portland Cement Association, and other industry leaders, aims to demonstrate best practices in beyond-code, coastal construction. The strength of the home will come from, you guessed it, ICFs.

To learn more about the benefits of ICFs, visit