Resilient Housing Design Guide: Time to Hunker Down

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Next generation homes must be built with worst-case climate scenarios as their baseline.  Green Builder’s latest resilient housing design guide will help you understand the building science and materials needed for resilient buildings.

The Resilient Housing Design Guide, now available for free download, provides in-depth guidance on how to build homes to survive nature’s fury. What does a resilient house look like? It may look just like the house next door, but behind the facade the building science is far superior. While the details vary, depending on the most likely hazards, the principal is the same: engineer the structure to stand firm as water and wind pass by.

“It’s no longer prudent to put an optimistic spin on the environmental scenarios that lie ahead,” says guide author Matt Power, Green Builder’s Editor-in-Chief. “Population growth, combined with unsustainable behavior by both industry and individuals make a sudden reversal of greenhouse gas pollution extremely unlikely, if not unthinkable.”

“That’s not to say we lack hopeful technologies and shifts around the corner, such as rapid conversion to a renewable power grid, solar-powered air conditioning, hydrogen cell engines, and more,” Power says. “But even the most optimistic timeline for widespread use of these technologies may not arrest the impending decades of extreme weather strife that we face.”

So, what’s left? Preparation.

“We can build disaster-resistant housing,” Powers emphasizes. “A new house that is not built to withstand nature’s fury is short-sighted — a disservice to the homeowner. But half measures will not suffice. You need to go all the way. Otherwise, for coastal properties in the mid-Atlantic or Florida’s gulf coast, you might be wiser to put up a yurt or park an RV than to build a house that’s not prepared for a 20-foot storm surge and rising sea levels. When bad weather comes, at least you can run away.”

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The challenges are daunting, but the materials and the building science are sound. And Green Builder’s 2nd annual resilient design guide will help you understand both. Here are the highlights:

  • The (Building) Science of Readiness. Years of hard experience with hurricanes and tornadoes have taught us a thing or two about how to build tougher homes.
  • Risk-Reducing Metal Roofs. Evidence from the field shows that metal roofs boost building survivability in worst-case scenarios
  • The ICF Advantage. When properly installed and reinforced, Insulating Concrete Forms offer some of the best resistance to both extreme winds and flooding.
  • Storm Front. This stilt home in the Florida keys, built like a fortress with Structural Insulating Panels (SIPs), is also a state-of-the-art energy saver.
  • Resilient Product Showcase. A closer look at some of the best products for adding strength, durability and flexibility to a structure.
  • Safe Havens. Adaptability is the key to designing buildings that can perform well, even when the air conditioners and gadgets shut down.
  • Floods and Folly. Will cities such as Houston be ready when the next big one hits?

Download this free resource here.