Off-Grid ‘Tornado House’ Protects Inhabitants From Nature’s Fury

Climate change is already having real and unprecedented impacts on our global environment. Studies predict that increasing global temperatures will make massive natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, last year’s Japanese tsunami, and the flock of tornadoes that tore apart the Midwest, a common occurrence. Despite this reality, human beings continue to build houses on coastlines, mountainsides, and other regions that put them in the direct path of these disasters. While politicians drag their feet, the insurance industry has sprung into action, acknowledging that climate change could put them out of business for good.

That doesn’t help the millions of us that will soon overflow into these areas, eventually out of necessity as well as ignorance. For Hong Kong-based architecture firm 10 Design, accepting the fact that humans are determined to live where Nature never intended was the first step in designing the solution.

tornado-house

Image via 10 Design/Behance.net

The firm’s concept, called “Tornado House,” is a demonstration in something it calls “kinetic design.” A series of simple hydraulic levers push the home in and out of the ground, and deflect and warp the outer skin inresponse to external stimulation. The key activators of this motion would be high velocity winds associated with thunderstorms and tornadoes. The creators say the House’s ambulatory design was inspired by a combination of existing items, including garage doors, flowers, and the way a turtle draws its head into its shell when threatened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-bOgk7V4uU

The house’s outer skin would be comprised of a series of solar cells that would rotate and flex to attain maximum solar intensity. The translucent outer skin would also offer clear insulation sandwiched between twolayers of Kevlar in order to provide a necessary weather barrier while also allowing natural sunlight into all parts of the structure.

“We are also exploring the application of photocatalytic coatings and carbon nanotubes on the skin to absorb and clean pollution turning it directly into fuel for the home to power the hydraulics,” write the designers on Behance. In this way, homes of the future would not only be self-sufficient, the would also be ready to adapt, almost instantly, to anything Nature sends their way.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

    • Foo3fighter9

      Extremely impractical; way too far up the food chain. 
      Could do well illustrating some paperback SciFi book.  

    • JMarcb

      or you can just a build a house under ground…way cheaper

    • Mick

      Put the home on hydraulics like you find in an auto repair shop, & when it’s just underground, have 2 huge doors close the opening, kinka like elevator doors, that are strong enough not to be manipulated by the hurricane.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cholla53 Connie Holland

      I like that idea

    • Eliz

      ged rid of HAARP and Chemtrails and we won’t need these.

    • Guest

      too bad the number of tornadoes is actually expected to decrease because of global warming. Read an article that is actually credible, not this bs. Dr. Greg Forbes, the Tornado expert at The Weather Channel told me himself that global warming is expected to, and already has decreased the number of tornadoes, especially powerful (EF2 or greater) tornadoes. May of 2012 had the record lowest number of tornadoes ever recorded.

    • scott

      hell ya i would love to live in a house like that