Students at Crowder College and Drury University teamed up to design and build an off-grid, solar-powered house that can stand up to storms and tornados. ShelteR3 is based on three concepts: respond, recover and resist in the face of extreme weather events. To accomplish this, the prefab building has a structure and cladding that can resist strong impacts of debris and extreme winds. The storm-resistant home was designed for the 2015 Solar Decathlon and is currently being built and tested in Missouri.
The house was designed for areas with frequent extreme weather like Missouri (where the schools are located), which experiences an average of 27 tornados per year. Extreme winds with flying debris cause the greatest loss of life and property in the event of a tornado. Flying debris hits buildings and allows strong winds to enter, creating heavy pressure inside. This pressure enables winds tear off roofs and cause entire buildings to collapse.
The students designed the roof of the house as a flat structure that allows horizontal high-speed winds carrying debris to fly over without severe damage. The house doesn’t have eaves and other overhangs, which actually help high-speed winds pull off roofs during a storm. Its two modules – one contains the kitchen and the bathroom while the other consists of the two bedrooms – are built off-site and conveniently transported to the target location.