When the tornado ripped through the small town in Southwest Kansas, almost everything was destroyed – except for the grain silo, which stands as a testament to its construction and design that naturally allows wind to move around it rather than build up pressure on one side. Inspired by the strength of the silo, the Silo Eco Home, the first of the Chain of Eco-Homes, was designed with the cylindrical silo as its basis. The home is constructed of six inch thick reinforced concrete walls and can withstand 200 mph + winds, which is what the town of Greensburg experienced when the tornado came through on the fateful night. Amour Homes, who built the Eco Silo Home, even went so far as to drop a car on the top of the home to make sure it could withstand the average force of an F5 tornado.
But the Silo Eco Home isn’t just super strong, it’s also incredibly energy and water efficient. The two story building houses the headquarters for the Greensburg GreenTown non-profit organization that is helping green the town and also has a Guest Suite, which can be rented out to those wanting to experience green living first hand. The eco home includes a whole host of sustainable features like a permeable driveway, a solar system, a green roof, super efficient insulation and glazing, solar passive design, eco friendly finishings, LED lighting, low VOC paints and sealants, energy monitoring, water efficient fixtures, a bioswale, native landscaping, composter, and much much more.
It’s impressive really, what this little town of Greensburg has accomplished in the last three years. In fact, we could probably all learn a lot from their dedication, outreach and education programs.