We are constantly barraged with pseudo-scientific propaganda about the impending climate apocalypse. Yet we do not need to quake in fear of climate doom before we consider how our houses could be made safer against natural disasters. Disaster resistant homes are a good idea under any climate regime — warming, cooling, or anything between.
One of the safest places to shelter from most natural disasters is to live underground — although most humans may not feel comfortable in a below-ground structure. A Hong Kong architectural firm has designed a house that is capable of retracting underground in the face of a dangerous storm, then returning to the surface after the danger has passed.
But it is quite possible to achieve high levels of disaster resistance with permanent above ground construction:
The approach to disaster-resistant home construction requires that the entire exterior shell (walls and roofs) of the house be monolithic reinforced concrete in character. Well-known examples of structures that must demonstrate three dimensional structural integrity are aircraft fuselages and ship hulls, especially submarines and oil tankers. Concrete ships and barges have utilized shell technology for over half a century. _Tornado Proof Shelters
As noted above, monolithic construction can be most efficiently achieved with reinforced concrete. Either poured or sprayed concrete con be used on site, or pre-fabricated reinforced concrete modules can be permanently affixed to the on-site foundation.
Monolithic domes have survived hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that can easily destroy most other types of structures. Domes have been shown to possess remarkable strength due to their shape and their construction design. Monolithic domes can even be safely buried under up to 30 feet of earth.
These domes are far more energy-efficient than most forms of construction, and are perfectly suited for a full range of climates from extremely warm to extremely cold, with very low expense for heating or cooling. __ http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/2010/06/monolithic-dome-most-disaster-resistant.html
A well built monolithic dome can last for centuries against almost anything nature can throw at it.
Another type of long-lived concrete home is built by Formworks, an example of which is pictured above.
The Formworks structural life-span is rated at 200-1000 years. That is five to ten times the structural life span of most homes. Plus – depending on what external features are chosen, the Formworks homeowner can reasonably expect a reduction of ninety-percent (90%) or more of the maintenance that is required on a conventional home of the same size. _formworks
Some experiences of people living in Formworks homes
Here is yet another type of concrete home from Conrad’sCastles:
With poured-in-place concrete walls, there are no worries about rotting wood, termites, or settling problems that can cause a lot of interior damage. This means you have fewer headaches, more money, and more enjoyable weekends!
Strength and safety for your family.
Because of the concrete structure, these homes survive fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. What more could you want for your family? This also means cheaper homeowner’s insurance.
Peace and quiet.
You won’t believe how little outside noise you will hear in a concrete home! Noise from traffic or the neighbors’ barking dogs is practically gone. _Conradscastles
An arched or domed shape provides strength and uninterrupted interior space. Earth sheltering on top of the concrete provides further protection from fire and weather, as long as proper water-proofing is used. Monolithic domes, for example, are strong enough to be buried beneath about 30 feet of earth.
An alternative approach to concrete for disaster resistant housing is offered by InovaTec System.
Our State-of-the-Art Fiber Composite Structural Elements (FCSE) and bonding materials – InovatecElements™, InovatecResin™ and InovatecBond™ are manufactured through an industrial process using proprietary, synthetic, composite materials similar to those widely accepted by the marine and aerospace industries…
Waterproof, earthquake and fire resistant, and has been tested and approved for wind speeds above 155 mph. _InovaTec
Here are other approaches to disaster resistant shelters:
http://www.domeshells.com.au/ — Claims resistance to the strongest cyclones and hurricanes
http://www.i-domehouse.com/case.html — Claims high storm and earthquake resistance
The dome shape tends to “shed wind” better than squared off shapes and cantilevered roof edges. Windows and doors may need special attention.
Home siting is important. Some sites are more resistant to mudslides, avalanches, wildfires, sinkholes, flooded streams and rivers, storm surge, etc. than others. Use common sense, when available. 😉