Concrete homes stand strong in extreme weather events (video)

Concrete homes stand strong in extreme weather events (video)

Homes built with concrete forms are becoming more popular as homeowners and builders recognize the energy-efficiency and comfort benefits. But recent extreme weather events make it clear that concrete homes can survive the worst that Mother Nature has to offer.

After tornados devastated Joplin, Mo., and Moore, Okla., homebuilders there wanted to construct homes that could withstand the awesome power of the tornado.

George Van Hoeson with Global Green Building told that he set out to build energy-efficient homes using insulated concrete forms. But Van Hoeson found that ICF homes were not only energy-efficient but also storm resistant.

National building codes say homes should resist winds of 90 miles per hour but ICF homes can withstand up to 250 miles per hour. Van Hoeson built affordable ICF homes that were approximately 1,100 square feet for about $90,000.

Watch this video from Fox Blocks, makers of ICF products, on the basics of insulated concrete form construction.


Are concrete homes really safer? Filmmaker Eric Williams in his documentary “The Safest House”, offers real-life examples of “safest house” designs withstanding winds up to 400 mph, fire and flooding.

After the May 20 F5 tornados flattened so many homes and schools in Moore, Oklahoma, one sole “safest house” remained intact and in place, without damage from fire or record-setting wind turbulence that destroyed all surrounding structures.

"Safest House" structures are locked into the earth and aerodynamically designed for debris to roll off or deflect entirely. The "safest house" has layered "shotcrete" (sprayed concrete) on the outside and a basalt fiber re-bar application on the inside, which is 10 times stronger than steel re-bar, doesn't rust like steel, is much lighter than steel and is extremely flexible (like twine.) After adding polyurethane air-foam and another coat of shotcrete to the home’s interior, it becomes a disaster-proof "safest house" that can stand up to the worst storm conditions including fire, and the high winds and flooding that accompany hurricanes, tsunamis, and F5 and EF5 tornados.

The aerodynamically designed "safest house" is designed and built to withstand fire, flood, earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis, at a fraction of the cost needed to build a traditional-style home.

Read more about concrete forms.

House photo and video courtesy of Fox Blocks.

Topics: Foundations, Home Design & Plans, Insulated Concrete Forms - ICF, Insulation, Interior Design

Companies: Fox Blocks

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