If you’re building a new home that needs to stand up against natural disasters, then there are certain materials you’ll want to use. Concrete is one of those materials.
Concrete Contractors Colorado Springs is extremely durable, and it has a lot of other helpful properties. Concrete is ideal for disaster-proof construction. Here are some ways to incorporate this material in your disaster-proof home.
Concrete is the most popular building material in the world. Still, for every concrete produced, a corresponding ton of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere [source: Chemistry World]. Unsurprisingly, people are constantly trying to find ways to make it better and more eco-friendly.
Durability is an important engineering property because it helps buildings last longer and reduces the need for repair, lowering energy use and waste production. It also helps to preserve natural resources and reduce environmental impacts.
Engineers worldwide are working hard to improve concrete to be more durable, especially in earthquake-prone areas where traditional wood frame houses often collapse during a big quake, leaving many homeless and sometimes killed. One promising new approach to creating disaster-proof concrete is incorporating self-healing fibers, like those used in AtlantisFiber(tm). They help prevent cracking, make the concrete more earthquake-resistant and climate-tolerant, and reduce its weight without sacrificing strength or durability.
The key to the durability of concrete is not so much the ingredients but how they are mixed and placed in a structure and how it is maintained over time. Durable concrete has a high resistance to chemical attack and deterioration. This is achieved by proper mix design, permeability reduction, and good placing, curing, and maintenance practices.
One of the biggest challenges with concrete is that it can deteriorate over time, particularly when it tends to crack. Depending on the environment and how the concrete is used, this can lead to corrosion or a complete failure of the structure. To avoid this, it’s essential to monitor the concrete for signs of deterioration and to carry out repairs promptly.
A team led by MIT professor of civil and environmental engineering Admir Masic graduate student Linda Seymour and four other researchers is investigating an ancient form of concrete that seems extremely durable. The key, they believe, was its use of quicklime instead of, or in addition to, slaked lime. The concrete was also mixed hot, which helped it achieve its extreme durability.
Steel is eight times (8X) stronger than concrete in tension and shear, making it ideal for structures that withstand powerful forces such as earthquakes or high winds. It is also highly resilient, allowing it to bend or deflect before failing. Moreover, it is easier to construct than concrete, as it does not require mixing cement, sand, and water like concrete does. This means that buildings made of steel are erected much faster and are often completed with fewer laborers.
Additionally, steel has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than concrete. This makes it more economical to transport, install, and maintain. It is also less dense, requiring far fewer cubic feet of materials to create a building than concrete. This makes it easier for a building to be moved or dismantled and more environmentally friendly.
While concrete may seem durable, it has a brittle nature, which can cause it to fracture under tension or impact. This is a safety hazard in blast-resistant structures, where fragments of the structure can cause injury to people inside the building. On the other hand, steel offers greater flexibility to help resist damage from shock waves or flying debris during explosions and disasters.
If you are looking for a way to build an ultra-durable, energy-efficient, quiet, and healthy home that can resist severe weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and flooding, consider insulated concrete forms (ICFs). This unique construction method utilizes steel-reinforced concrete blocks, resulting in extremely strong, safe, and energy-efficient homes. They can also withstand extreme weather conditions, saving you money on utility costs for the entire life of your house.
Concrete is a natural fire-resistant building material. The ingredients used to prepare concrete, including clay, limestone, gypsum, and aggregate, make the material impervious to heat and flames. This natural feature, coupled with its non-combustible properties, makes concrete one of construction’s most effective fire retardants. The ability of concrete to slow down fires has made it a preferred building material for many structures and facilities.
Concrete generally has a higher fire resistance than other building materials like wood and steel. The concrete is non-combustible and has a very low thermal conductivity, meaning it has an extremely slow heat transfer rate to other structural materials. This characteristic also makes concrete a good choice for protecting wiring in critical circuits. Traditionally, buildings have used the concrete construction method of encasing standard building wires that supply power to essential life-saving circuits with up to two inches of concrete. This practice is still used today, but recent changes to NFPA codes require that the wires be properly rated and protected.
However, when exposed to high temperatures for long periods, concrete starts to lose its fire resistance. It begins to weaken in terms of its important strength and durability properties at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which is when it starts to degrade concerning its tensile strength.
The key to making concrete more fire-resistant is using the proper type of cement and aggregates. Choosing carbonate aggregates, such as limestone, dolomite, or lime rock, will improve the concrete’s fire resistance characteristics because they calcine when heated, producing CO2. This reaction absorbs some of the exothermic energy of the fire and lessens the damaging effects of high-temperature exposure.
A complete shell must be constructed to achieve the highest level of disaster-proof concrete construction. This includes an integral concrete roof detailed as a diaphragm connecting all walls into a three-dimensional structure. Insulated concrete forms, such as those from Nudura, make it possible to build homes that meet all the requirements for a disaster-proof building. These homes resist powerful winds, earthquakes, termites, and critters while offering significant energy conservation.
As the most destructive natural disasters, tornadoes can destroy everything they touch, including concrete buildings. The damage from a tornado can leave behind debris that can take decades to clean up. The most important thing you can do to protect your home is to be prepared and have a safe place to go during a tornado.
Ideally, you want to find an interior room without windows on the lowest level of your house that can act as a safe shelter during severe weather. Typically, the basement is the best option, but you could also designate an interior room, such as a closet or a bathroom, as your haven.
If you are building a new home, use concrete to make it stronger and more tornado-proof. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), such as Fox Blocks, can help you create a more resilient home that will resist strong winds. These blocks combine the strength of concrete and insulation to help you build a home up to 250 mph tornado-proof.
While it is possible to build a completely tornado-proof concrete house, it will be extremely expensive. However, the peace of mind from knowing your home is protected against most major natural disasters will be worth the investment.
Tornadoes with an EF-2 rating have high wind speeds of 111 to 135 miles per hour and can quickly demolish homes. They can lift one-piece metal roofs off mobile houses and may even tear off the upper floor of a concrete house. EF-2 tornadoes can also destroy apartment structures and may uproot most trees.
To avoid being destroyed by a tornado, you should only build a concrete home with a class EF-5 rating or better. While a class EF-5 tornado can withstand concrete buildings, it can cause catastrophic damage. The most severe damage from a tornado will be the flying debris that can demolish your home or even pick up cars and throw them against the concrete walls. This is why building your home with the right materials is essential if you live in a tornado-prone area.