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SELECTED WORK

Safe House: Disaster Resilient Prototype

Joplin, MO

Safe House is designed to provide refuge in the worst storms. It addresses the need for durable, affordable, and energy efficient homes in disaster prone areas. FEMA’s recommendations for safe room construction have been applied to the entire house, because we believe people’s homes are not expendable.

Constructed with insulated concrete forms (ICF), from foundation to exterior walls to roof, foam forms remain in place as insulation after concrete is poured. The system is extremely material efficient as drywall and siding fasten directly to the forms. The concrete roof is left exposed, pattern imprinted and sealed. Also energy efficient, ICF construction reduces utility bills by 50%.  For a structure to survive these storms, it is critical to maintain a continuous structural load path from the roof to the foundation and all connections must be designed to withstand associated forces. This was easily achievable with ICF construction. Windows and doors are protected with fixed stainless steel screens and roll down shutters. Screens are rated to wind forces of 175 mph, so a safe room is included. In the most severe storms, the house will stand and rebuilding will be limited to damaged windows and finishes.

We must build more responsibly.

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