Recovering from the storms: Building a tornado-resistant home
MOORE, Okla. — More than a thousand homes were destroyed on May 20 when the EF-5 tore through Moore.
Dozens more homes and buildings were destroyed the day before on May 19 and a week later, on May 31.
It has been a destructive year in Oklahoma.
Many here in our state are concerned about building the safest structure they can afford for their family.
There is a new trend in residential building, concrete.
The debris path on May 20 was 17 miles long and a mile-and-a-half wide.
Six-months post-tornado and the landscape is changing once again.
Homeowners are re-building safer and stronger than before.
Jasper and Amanda Warden lost everything in the storm.
They huddled in their shower while the tornado tore their home apart piece by piece.
“My husband and I were very scared for our lives. We feel so blessed to be alive. There’s a lot of people…. We’re praying,” said Amanda Warden on May 21.
When the Wardens decided to re-build, they decided to build a concrete home.
“Cost was a factor,” said Jasper Warden. “I had to find out how much extra was this going to cost. Really, for safety, it’s negligible. Almost nothing.”
Ironically, Warden works at Dolese Concrete in Oklahoma City.
The Wardens tell us they did their research before starting construction.
They found a number of builders in town were unfamiliar with concrete construction.
They chose Richardson Homes for their builder.
It’s the first concrete home project for Richardson homes.
The company put a saferoom inside the concrete structure for FEMA-rated protection.
“Anything that keeps us safe is fine with me. I don’t ever want to go through that again.”
The Wardens chose a Nudura Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) home.
The construction crew stacked the forms, concrete was poured on site.
The walls in a 1,600-square-foot home are four inches thick, reinforced with steel.
“In a concrete home, it gives a family a real good chance that they can keep all the things that makes their family. That’s real important,” said Nudura spokesperson DJ Estes.
The shell of the home costs about 15-percent more than traditional construction.
However, heat and air units cost about 50-percent less because the home is so energy-efficient.
After construction, utility bills are 40 to 60 percent smaller each month than bills in an average home.
“I’m looking forward to the energy efficiency of this particular product,” said Jasper Warden.
The Warden’s home is the first concrete home in the area, but not the only one.
There is a strip mall on 19th St. in Moore which is also ICF construction.
It is an environmentally friendlier way to build with safety and security in the core.
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