Disaster Proof Eco House in a Box?

Posted on 23. Apr, 2012 by in Articles

Hurricane Katrina has inspired OceanSafe, LLC to create a prototype house that’s supposed to be a turnkey solution for quick housing following disasters. But better than quick and dirty housing, this green house design is supposed to be earthquake, hurricane, and tornado proof, making it an incredibly resilient home design as well.

This supposedly disaster-proof house prototype has been installed in the Lakeview region of New Orleans. Its box-like design comes in a box. In fact, the 1,100 square foot, one-story house ships in pieces in a single shipping container to its intended location where the pieces are removed and assembled like an erector set. The home is designed with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a great room, and a kitchen.

These homes are meant to be incredibly sturdy. They’re constructed with steel structural insulated panels (steel panels with a polystyrene core) – the same technology used to insulate walk-in refrigerators, making the home very efficient. Once assembled, the walls are tested to withstand 156 mile per hour winds, deter termites, prevent mold and mildew, and survive an earthquake.

But these homes are also incredibly green. In addition to the well-insulated walls (superior R values), the arch on the exterior of the homes is meant to hold 22 solar panels which are sufficient for routine power requirements of a home this size. The home is also designed with a slanted roof that opens into the home where the rainwater collects into a 6,000 gallon cistern. The addition of a filtration system could make the rainwater potable.

All of these features work together to make these homes self-sufficient, which is incredibly important following a disaster when electricity and water systems may be inoperable for extended periods of time. Climate control for these homes is also important, and as such they come with an air conditioning system and individual thermostats for every room, all powered by a quiet outdoor compressor.

From start to finish, it takes about 14 weeks to put together a house like this. But if the company gets a larger order from an organization like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, they may be able to have houses ready to go for the next disaster.

Some of the listed green features include the following:

  • 72% energy efficient
  • Wind resistant up to 190 mph
  • Fire resistant
  • Earthquake resistant to 8.1R
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Termite proof
  • Superior “R” values
  • Low maintenance
  • Discounted homeowners Insurance
  • Best indoor air quality


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  • Jeffblair

    I love what you are doing, you can change the world we just need people to do it with you, good job sir.