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April 10, 2009

Silo-Eco Homes Offer Solid Defense Against Tornadoes

Posted by : admin
Filed under : General Green

silo eco home

We’ve all seen the terrible destruction caused by tornadoes — the homes, communities, and lives uprooted. In May of 2007, those images were played out on television screens worldwide when an estimate F5 tornado ripped through the town of Greensburg, Kansas leveling 95% of it. In the wake of this act of nature, the community resolved to rebuild green and become the first city in the nation to have all city buildings conform to LEED-Platinum specifications.

Of course, part of their “going green” also included ways to avoid future cataclysmic damage from tornadoes. Yesterday, a company called Armour Homes demonstrated how their Silo-Eco designs can withstand winds in excess of 200mph — the average force of an F5 tornado. To do this, they took a 1980 Honda Civic, strung it up 60ft above one of their new buildings in Greensburg, and dropped it. The 160 thousand pounds of impact force didn’t even put a dent in the building. From their website,

A round house has 15% less outside wall exposed to the elements than a box house per square foot. Wind passes around instead of building up pressure as on a straight wall, allowing for much higher wind ratings. The most important component is the roof. Traditional builders have improved construction methods of exterior walls, but still frame the roofs with lumber, which leads to the most common point of failure in fires and high winds. With our round design, we can achieve a concrete arched roof with no interior supports that completes a truly hardened, low maintenance exterior shell that any turtle would be proud of.

Sounds like a great building choice for anyone cosidering settling down in “Tornado Alley”. You can see more pictures and floor plans of their homes here.


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