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Crowder College, Drury University, Joplin, Missouri, disaster-proof home, home with a shield, hurricane-rated ShelteR3 home, ShelteR3 home solar decathlon, Solar Decathlon 2015, home deflects projectiles, tornado-proof home

What makes the ShelteR3’s skin so formidable is both surprising and ingenious. Instead of using standard 2-by-4 wood studs in 16-inch intervals, the design team used 2-by-6 studs placed in 12-inch intervals. This is then further reinforced with a steel chassis connected by half-inch vertical rods – to anchor the roof and aid in wind resistance. Adding to this is the absence of eaves or overhangs, which are said to be dangerous in high winds since they make it easier to rip off the roof. In their place is a completely flat roof topped with photovoltaic panels. In the aftermath of a disaster, this structure fulfills the most basic requirement – a safe roof overhead – but it does so in a way that is also comforting with a sophisticated but friendly interior.

Related: Stunning solar-powered GRoW Home has a thriving veggie greenhouse at its core

Inside are all of the amenities expected of a conventional modern home: a fully-equipped kitchen, bathroom and living spaces, along with off-grid heating and lighting. A front porch and rear deck extend the living space during calm days, and carefully-engineered apertures in the walls ensure privacy while still making sure plenty of natural light illuminates the interior. Adding to a sense of security while inside, walls comprised of several layers of polycarbonate shielding prevent debris or projectiles caused by high-strength winds from penetrating the interior. You’d never guess just looking at the home that it would be capable of such hard core resistance.

The Crowder Drury team are hoping an organization like FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will be interested to take their concept on board as a viable solution for tornado-proof cities. While it may initially be less cost-effective than some of the other models of disaster-proof housing we’ve featured over the years, this model has the added benefit of creating a way forward. So many other refugees of natural disasters are stuck in a perpetual cycle of rootlessness. A real home with the same safety performance can help rebuild communities.

+ ShelteR3

+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage

Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat; renderings via ShelteR3