As we begin to feel the effects of climate change, one consequence is more natural disasters. According to NASA's Earth Observatory, rising temperatures could potentially result in "increased intensity of storms" - in addition to a variety of other maladies. Just two years ago, in 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that climate change influenced half of extreme weather events that year. Which is why resilient design has never been so crucial, and architects are up for the challenge. We have rounded up seven stunning homes that are specifically designed to withstand a variety of natural disasters - from hurricanes to tsunamis and earthquakes.
Beach-goers often seek the sand for relaxation, yet the seaside environment can be harsh on buildings. This contrast is present in the design of this Hamptons beach house that was built to evoke peace while also enduring salt corrosion and hurricanes. Aamodt/Plumb Architects used concrete to build a sturdy yet elegant home complete with touches like strong water-jet cut metal screens sliced into the shape of flowers. In a nod to the surrounding environment, the sand used in the concrete was locally-sourced. Now the owners can relish the serenity of the ocean without fearing destructive elements.
Russian company SkyDome designed sustainable, sturdy dome homes that can withstand loads of up to “700 kilograms of snow per square meter.” Called the “home of the future,” these domes are designed for the comfort and safety of people who battle extreme winter weather. The round shape results in less heat loss so residents don’t have to pay so much for electrical bills, another benefit for those who live in northern latitudes. SkyDome constructs their houses using natural materials such as pinewood, seaweed, flax, and cork.
Tsunamis are a real and present danger for many coastal residents, and one Washington State family wanted to be prepared. So Designs Northwest Architects designed the Tsunami House for them, which incorporates several safety features. First off, they raised the main living area “nine feet above grade.” The foundation was built to counter high velocity waves. Strong materials like steel and concrete bolster the exterior of the home, and indoors the industrial feel is tempered with western red cedar ceilings.
This Orange tiny house from Vagavond will stand up to pests, water, fire, and harsh weather. It is “100 percent free from harmful building materials,” and sustainably constructed utilizing elements such as a galvalume roof and “non-toxic pressure treated plywood sheathing“. Natural wool insulates the home, and anodized aluminum cladding ensures residents will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Orange receives its distinctive color via the Japanese Yakisugi method, a way of treating wood that makes it fire-resistant and durable. Plus, the tiny home can go off the grid with solar panels, passive appliances, and a wood-burning stove.
Iranian architect Nader Khalili turned his back on a career constructing high rises to pursue earth architecture. Built with sandbags, barbed wire, and earth, his Superadobe structures offer a solution to the worldwide housing crisis. They are also resistant to natural disasters. They can be erected as a replacement for unstable slum shanties or to solve housing needs for refugees, but anyone interested in building their own sustainable home can learn the process through the organization Khalili founded in California – Cal-Earth.
The round shape of Deltec’s Classic home means it’s resistant to earthquakes. The company has been around for close to 50 years, and in all that time, they’ve “never lost a home due to high winds of any kind.” Their prefab houses can be customized to meet a homeowner’s needs, and because they can be net-zero, will potentially save owners hundreds of dollars each year. The largest Deltec Classic floor plan at 3,326 square feet has a shell price of $202,222. Sustainability isn’t simply a part of Deltec’s designs but their manufacturing processes as well: their factory uses 100 percent renewable energy.
Architects’ Creative designed a gorgeous contemporary home for a family in New Zealand who lost their previous home in an earthquake, and the new structure draws on steel and concrete to prevent that from happening again. The house, called Ophir, was constructed with cedar and black zinc cladding. The exposed steel frame anchors the house to the surrounding hills. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to create a peaceful atmosphere inside the home, while modern charcoal furniture completes the strong, polished look.