In 2018, 13,900 homes were destroyed by fires in Northern California. In October, the powerful category five Hurricane Michael devastated the panhandle of Florida, causing over $25 billion dollars in damage. These are just two of the numerous disasters that can and do strike the country in a given year. From floods, to fires, to earthquakes, to hurricanes, it’s now more important than ever before to protect your dream home with the latest building technologies. If you are about to build or renovate, check out three of the most innovative ways to help your home withstand some of the worst nature can bring to your area.
Interlocking 3D panels made from concrete and steel
One of the most challenging elements from which to protect your home is fire. As reported in one of the latest assessments (the 2017 Wildfire Risk Analysis), “4.5 million U.S. homes were identified at high or extreme risk of wildfire.” Wildfires are almost always started by people (90% of all cases), can occur nearly anywhere, and spread fast. Although it may seem next to impossible to keep homes safe from fire, there are newer building technologies that can withstand this potential disaster. One of the more exciting developments in this area of architecture are interlocking 3D panels that are made from a combination of concrete, steel, and polystyrene foam. These panels are placed and reinforced on top of welded wire truss systems. In addition to helping a building withstand winds of 300 mph, and earthquakes of up to 9.0, these panels could save a home from being destroyed by fire. When installed properly, they can protect a structure from a wildfire for a minimum of two hours.
Hurricane and tsunami-proof homes
Over the last few years, major hurricanes (such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma) have become more frequent. The hurricanes of the last several years have been some of the worst recorded natural disasters in many areas, and it is likely that storms of this magnitude will strike yet again. If you live on the coast, there are special structural changes that you can make to your home to give it the best chance of withstanding a category 4 or 5 storm. Companies such as SURVIV(AL) and Designs Northwest Architects have built entire homes, and single rooms in homes, that can make it through the worst coastal disasters that could occur. This includes both powerful hurricanes and tsunamis. These structures are made possible by elevating living areas, and through the use of steel building materials. In fact, homes that are built with the latest technologies can withstand winds of 150 mph, and the impact of large objects.
Eco-friendly disaster proof home
For those who wish to build a disaster proof home while using the latest eco-friendly building materials now have some impressive choices. One tiny house builder, Vagavond, constructed a home that uses only sustainable building materials, including wool and a galvalume roof. In addition to being built with eco-friendly materials, and having the capability to be self-sustaining, the techniques used make the home both fire and water resistant.
While no one can prevent where and when the next natural disaster will strike, homeowners and builders can leverage the current technologies to help keep people and structures safe. In addition, The Simple Dollar have done a great guide for homeowners to prepare for severe weather seasons.
Featured image courtesy of Jesse Roberts of Unsplash