A building material known as 3D cementitious sandwich panel, if built properly, has the potential to keep houses intact during natural disasters like hurricanes. While used widely around the world, CNBC reports, the construction technique has not been adopted in the U.S.
U.S. company RSG 3-D is trying to change that, by bringing the building material for mass production the U.S. The company wants to change the narrative about U.S.-built homes being at risk during natural disasters. Currently, according to the company, 77% of homes built in the United States are at extreme risk for some type of natural disaster. But the 3D cementitious sandwich panel has the potential to reduce risk.
Each panel made by RSG 3-D consists of fire retardant foam sandwiched between two wire mesh faces. The two faces are connected with reinforcement wires that run through the foam and the whole thing is enveloped in concrete.
"The panels are fireproof, they are seismic resistant beyond any earthquake recorded in human history and they are also hurricane resistant," RSG 3-D CEO Ken Calligar said.
The panel has previously been used in the U.S. by NASA to build spacecrafts, however it was not used on a more widespread scale because of manufacturing costs. However, recently Austrian company EVG as created machines to manufacture the panels, bringing down the cost of manufacturing significantly. Higher lumber costs, expensive skilled labor, and more demanding building codes are making the panel an appealing alternative in the U.S. market.Read More