My Force 10 home saved my life!
Force 10 stands up to Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu
Tina Anthony has been living in Vanuatu for seven years. She has been through a Tropical Cyclone before in Queensland, but nothing like the power and ferocity of Cyclone Pam. Cyclone Pam was Category 5 and had reported winds of up to 340 kilometres an hour during its peak – unfortunately it was also a slow moving cyclone with a low Pressure that reached 890 hpa never seen before in a Pacific Tropical Cyclone. She bought her two Force 10 Bungalows in 2012, one she lives in and the other is for friends and family wanting to holiday in Vanuatu. The Force 10 Bungalows were built back in 2004. Tina works at a Resort in Port Vila and is a volunteer Sports Coach for Strength Conditioning for athletes.
“We were watching updates and news on Cyclone Pam but it didn’t hit me that it was going to hit us until the Monday 9th March 2015. We kept hoping it would miss us but it didn’t. I had become very concerned like everyone in Vanuatu so I decided to further investigate my building plans for the house. This was my father’s idea who also phoned up Force 10 to find out more information and what the cyclone rating was. They reassured us, that it was probably one of the safest places to be during a cyclone. This advice also gave me confidence. I also had a local friend of mine that came to stay with me because I was living on my own. My friend’s family sadly lost their house.
By 4pm on Friday 13th March 2015 Cyclone Pam started to unleash her fury and you could feel it building up. By 6pm it became obvious we couldn’t leave the house with gales that were in a sense breathtaking but also eerie. We had no idea of what was about to hit. At approximately 9.30pm we had lost all power, water and communications, this was when it became real. We put mattresses on the walls in the bathroom and had one mattress ready to go on top of us.
Around 10.30pm that night Pam hit us at full force and did not start to subside until 4.30am Saturday 14 March. For 6 hours the Cyclone twisted and turned around us. The sound was deafening and my ears were popping because of the pressure. Each wind cycle would get louder and louder like a Screaming steam Engine and you felt like the whole house was going to lift up off the foundations. The house shuddered every time the wind cycles came through which was approximately every 20-30 secs for the next 6 hours. With no word of a lie, the large sliding glass door was bowing inward and at that point I really thought I was not going to make it through the night. It was terrifying.
Luckily my friend kept calm and he reassured me that the house and roof was OK. 80% of the houses around us lost their roofs or had structural damage including a brand new six-bedroom mansion behind us, the Holiday Inn next door and several other houses around me. All the big expat houses up on the hill had major damage to their roofs. There were trees, roofs and debris everywhere.
In the morning when we checked our Force 10 houses, there was no structural damage, the roof was still intact and there was no water that had leaked through any part of the ceiling. Sadly a lot of my friends had major damage or lost their houses altogether. I strongly believe the Force 10 house definitely saved my life: “it was my armour against Cyclone Pam”.
As our climate is changing all around the world and we are seeing more severe storms everywhere including Australia I would definitely look at any future buildings that I build to be Force 10 homes.
Tina Anthony, April 27, 2015. Vanuatu
“The Category 5 cyclone was an absolute doozy. Very scary 8 hours and I honestly thought that the Force 10 units would sustain much damage in the morning when we came out to check. However, we were very happy to see only some minor damage.
All in all, I would say a very satisfying result. There were properties that were near us that lost complete roofs. We heard some horror stories about people that were in beautiful, solid cement block construction housing that lost their complete roofs very early in the cyclone. But our Force 10 units were in great condition given the size of the cyclone. As you may know we faced the teeth of the cyclone for 7 hours. One gust at the airport was registered at 382 Kms/hr. So you can imagine some of the gusts that we faced.” Tony Ryan, Vanuatu Agencies. 27 April, 2015
“Just want to let you know how pleased we are with our Force 10 units and the way they were unaffected by our recent cyclone Pam. We are up on the hillside overlooking Erakor Lagoon and facing east – the direction that Pam came from. This means that we are fairly open to the elements. The other units in the resort are solid cement and, as Force 10 units have a good cyclone rating, we weren’t too concerned. However, cyclones are extremely volatile and no-one can predict what will happen. The 2 bedroom Force 10 units were untouched – not even any water leaks.
As you know, they were built in 2006. Now almost 10 years later, they are still as good as the day they were finished.
Thank you so much for such a reliable product.”
Warm regards, Valerie, Owner/Manager, Tradewinds Resort Vanuatu
“The childcare centre was the only school in Vanuatu that had no damage at all from Cyclone Pam, The whole structure was fine. We would use the Force 10 system again. We didn’t know how strong the building would be, and we are more than happy with the structure and how it performed during Cyclone Pam” Nadia Kanegai-Didou, Director, Child Care Centre. Vanuatu
“The Force 10 Engineered Building System is the best system I have ever seen. In my opinion, the system is extremely well suited to Fiji because of the adverse conditions we are exposed to such as cyclones, flood, fire and termites. The fact the system can be erected by local labour is another advantage.”
Hamen Lodhia, Hamen Lodhia Engineers
“Overall I’m happy with the Force 10 buildings. The last building’s walls, floors and trusses were done in six weeks working time. For 108 rooms, 18 bathrooms, and 6 laundries, that is not bad. The workforce have learnt the system quite well and the Force 10 guys were very useful.”
John Cross, Advisor Quality Assurance Infrastructure Support Services for Ok Tedi Mining, PNG
“HBS Machinery Ltd awarded Force 10 a major contract to provide nine different buildings in Lae for a Housing Development in 2012.
These buildings included:
- Motel accommodation of 30 rooms
- 4 x two-bedroom duplexes
- a restaurant
- a recreation club
- a retail outlet
- commercial laundry
The first major shipment arrived promptly in April and our National workforce of approximately 40 people did an excellent job with minimal training in constructing these buildings. Our National workforce quickly picked up the Force 10 system and in fact we have sent some of our people to help out at Ok Tedi Mining, Tabubil.
The whole project in Lae was finished by 30 October, 2012 which is an outstanding result. The buildings look great and our guests all appreciate the comfort of the new accommodation.”
Robert Watkins, Managing Director, HBS Machinery (PNG) Ltd
“The Force 10 suspended floor system has to be millimetre perfect, but once the base is set up right, the rest of the building just comes together nicely. Its been well thought out and I think its a good system. I like the way that Force 10 has designed the whole package with the trims and fixtures.
There was a learning curve with the first one with a trainer and we got all the panels up and some of the roof system. Then our local guys were able to finish it off and we now have two local indigenous guys who are familiar and comfortable with the Force 10 product. The precision that the guys developed was a real credit to them. The houses finished up really well and a nice layout. Hats off to our local guys – they took on a new product and perfected it.
The other good thing about the buildings is how cool they are even on a hot day – they don’t need a lot of energy to get them cool. Its perfect for what it will be used for up here in these communities. Force 10 was great and the backup support was extremely good.”
Rick Ashcroft, Hopevale Shire Council
“I recently watched the progress of a Force 10 structure to completion in Weipa, and am very impressed with your methodology.”
Trevor Lucas, Rio Tinto Weipa
“Our team love a challenge and we were very pleased to play our part in helping to get the Warmun (WA) community back into their own houses after the flood – we could not have achieved this in such a short timeframe without our dedicated team and the quick build facilitated by the Force 10 system.”
John Jenkins, Ri-Con CEO
“Force 10 have not only provided us with a magnificent building which is the pride of our school community but have been a pleasure to work with, especially during the construction phase.
Thanks guys for your patience and cooperation in not only giving us a purpose built facility but for your desire to help make our school so much better for kids.”
Rob Deen, Principal Payne Road State School
“The structure fits very well into the environment and the site – 3 years on there has been no maintenance issues and we are very happy with the outcome.”
Dr Roderick Crouch, Principal Moreton Bay Boys College
“New Caledonia is constantly beset by cyclones. I’ve now built over 130 Force 10 houses, as well as 3 schools and 20 townhouse apartments here since 2004. The Force 10 buildings have proved themselves safe and strong in the wildest weather. My clients love their Force 10 homes, because they can sleep soundly knowing their houses are virtually indestructible. Our most recent Cyclone was Erica which generated winds of up to 230 Km/h…our Force 10 houses came through just fine.”
Luigi Lenisa, New Caledonian Builder for Force 10
“Over 250 homes have been built in the Caribbean. These homes proved themselves in Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn, Bertha and most recently Hurricane Georges, a storm responsible for billions of dollars worth of damage in the Caribbean. All Force 10 buildings from large-scale affordable housing developments to custom designed exclusive vacation rental homes, have received positive reviews from happy homeowners and government housing inspectors. The Force 10 homes have clearly demonstrated that they are easier to build, very cost competitive, less costly to maintain, cooler and of course hurricane safe.”
David Holzman, U.S. Virgin Islands
“This house has survived 3 super typhoons that have hit Guam since the 1990s and it is right on the beach.”
Yudhishter Parmar, Guam
“Fran and I would like to say thankyou so much. As always, you people at Force 10 have been helpful and understanding..we think we are very lucky to have chosen you as our building supplier and we’re more than happy to recommend you to others.”
Max Maller and Fran Silvestro, New home owners, Glen Forrest, Perth
“From the very first meeting, I found thw Force 10 team to be professional, easy to work with and flexible. We are really pleased that the Library is built on the Force 10 building system, as we now have a cyclone and storm safe-haven at the school in case of emergency. The speed of construction was great and the Force 10 people, a very positive, can do team.”
Sandra Boland, President of the Rainworth State School Parents and Citizens Association, Brisbane
“I am happy with my home in Katherine. It was built in 1995 and has withstood 15 wet seasons with ease and it is still as good as new!”
Geoff Scott Katherine, Northern Territory
“I want to express my very deep appreciation for your efforts in designing and constructing our 8 chalets in the Seychelles. We were very pleased with your ability to complete the construction four months ahead of schedule – which is one of the fastest constructions ever carried out in the Seychelles.”
Ali Alvi, Senior Vice-President of International operations Berjaya Hotels and Resorts Seychelles
“St John was looking into the maw of Hurricane Georges, which was about to be upgraded to Category 5, the highest category for a hurricane. I knew of a Force 10 house where I could take myself and my kids…in the end we had six kids, four moms and the couple who resided in the house, coexisting in a 920 square foot, three bedroom house for the duration of the storm. I can’t begin to describe how comfortable and safe we felt – the kids still think it was just a sleep-over!”
Laura Masterson, St John US Virgin Island
“I am a very proud and extremely satisfied home owner who has had their first built home completed by Peter Harvey and MPH Carpentry and Construction. Construction began in January 2010 and was completed late April 2010. I have been blessed with a beautiful home that has been built exactly the way I had hoped for.”
Karen Kent, Residential client Alice Springs
“You have personified what is meant by customer service or at least what it should mean. Again, I thank you for all.”
Donald W Durante, Residential client US Virgin Islands
“Commencing September 2009, Force 10 substantially supplied all building components required for a number of camps totalling 1,400 Beds in a 4 month period. The configuration of the camps included three types of sleeping accommodation, Kitchen/Diners, Ablutions, Laundries, Medical centres and Offices. The building components were supplied and packed into containers ex Brisbane for shipping to Papua New Guinea. Force 10 are responsive to client needs, efficient and pleasant to deal with. Their product is extremely versatile and robust and is well suited and cost effective in remote areas.”
Mark Knight, General Manager, Accommodation Villages Australian Camp Services