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2017 was a record-breaking year of catastrophic destruction due to weather and climate change, and with similar natural disasters expected to increase in intensity and frequency in the coming years, “home resilience” is becoming an imperative part of sustainable home design.
Not only is durability becoming a louder part of the conversation, non-toxic materials are becoming more important as well as the mass destruction of buildings made from toxic materials turns communities into Superfund sites – leaving extremely high levels of pollution in the water, soil, and air.
Thankfully, durable, safe materials and technologies already exist and more continue to emerge. Here are some examples you can incorporate into your home today to make it more resilient.
Home Resilience Product Showcase
extremegreen represents a quantum shift in sheet building technology and has been designed to replace plywood, OSB, fiber cement and gypsum based sheet building products. It’s fire-resistant (releases up to 30 lbs. of water as vapor during a fire event, helping to cool and contain the fire), water-resistant (does not warp, swell, or delaminate), mold and mildew-resistant, non-toxic (ideal for people with chemical sensitivities), and it’s far more eco-friendly (completely recyclable and is classed as ‘Nutritional Waste,’ acts as a nutrient when it is ground up and sprinkled into the soil, and captures carbon dioxide CO2 during the curing process.) Amazing!!
Goal Zero YETI 3000 LITHIUM PORTABLE POWER STATION
With no gasoline needed, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 operates with zero fumes and zero noise for an easy-to-use, plug-and-play way to power all your essential electronics and appliances at the push of a button. It’s safe enough to store inside your home or apartment for running lights or appliances during an emergency power outage and durable enough to take along outdoors if needed. Comes with two wall chargers for recharging in 25 hours from an AC outlet. Pair it with solar panels (sold separately) for a solar generator setup. Charge it as an emergency power supply and will hold the charge for 10-12 months.
Gordon Glass 12 Mil Security Window Film
Originally created to deter burglars, window films have become increasingly popular as added protection from hurricanes and high winds for those who cannot replace their windows entirely. If your standard windows are left completely unprotected and they break, flying glass, debris, wind, and rain can cause significant damage to your home. Even more importantly, flying glass shards and debris can injure your home’s occupants. Gordon Glass 12 mil window film is PVC-free. With 99% UV rejection, these window films also reduce fading of fabrics. Their virtually clear security films do not diminish viewing and are easily applied.
Watershed Innovations Hydrabarrier
HydraBarrier, by Watershed Innovations, is a family of lightweight, eco-friendly, re-usable sandbag alternatives. These easy-to-use, durable barriers protect valuable assets from water damage. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used end to end to create water diversion barriers of any size. When the task is complete, simply empty the HydraBarrier, fold it up, and store for the next time it is needed. The HydraBarrier Supreme is made of industrial strength Vinyl Tarpaulin material weighing a few pounds when empty. Deployment is as easy as placing the HydraBarrier in position and filling it with a standard garden hose.
Rainwater Hog Water Harvesting System
The ideal solution to the problem of rainwater or greywater storage in areas where space is at a premium, the Rainwater HOG Harvesting System has a streamlined design that allows it to fit where other tanks and barrels can’t. With a narrow profile, it’s the perfect water storage solution alongside walls, down narrow passages, and underneath decks. Use it vertically or horizontally, the Rainwater HOG is adaptable to almost any situation. Rainwater is soft water, meaning it won’t cause a build up of calcium in your plumbing like hard water can. You can even drink rainwater as long as your roofing material doesn’t contain toxic materials. You will need to add a first flush diverter to the fine screen filter in the inlet kit to make rainwater suitable for drinking. Made of FDA & BPH compliant food grade plastics. 100% recyclable materials.
Sun Flux Solar Hot Water Controller
Sun Flux PV Solar Hot Water Controllers combine the most sought after solar features into one easy to use product. They feature the latest PV Water Heating innovations, allowing for a market leading peak efficiency of 96%. It also connects to any standard electric hot water tank, allowing water to be heated with free solar energy efficiently. Featuring the new “flux switch” design, users are able to conveniently switch between “Off Grid Free Solar” energy, and “On Grid Mains” to suit their power needs. Unlike traditional solar hot water units that collect heat from the sun through unsightly tanks and pipes, the Sun Flux PV system is able to collect solar energy directly through 2-6 solar panels. Using PV Solar, IGBT, and advanced microprocessor controlled technology, the Sun Flux is able to outperform traditional systems by up to 30% while maintaining far superior efficiency and performance in overcast conditions and cold climates.
Cowin Solar Powered Refrigerator
Cowin’s 12V DC solar refrigerator can be powered with DC from the solar panel when the sun is shining, and can also be connected to and powered by AC power during periods of low sun or night. The refrigerator has voltage and short circuit protection, temperature control, and interior lighting. Cowin’s solar refrigerator is also extremely energy efficient so when AC power needs to be used from the grid, minimal energy is used to power the fridge. Their appliances are compatible with 12V/(80-200)AH batteries, as well and a fully charged 12V/100AH battery can power the refrigerator continuously for 31 hours with no other power sources. The refrigerator comes with 150W solar panel and an AC 100-240V power adapter.
Bison Pumps Utility Water Hand Pump
No power does not have to mean no water! Bison Pumps Stainless Steel Shallow Well Utility Water Hand Pumps are used to provide water without the need for electricity. Shallow well hand water pumps suction lift water from a 25-foot static water level. These pumps can be installed using the piping from your electric submersible and may be installed on a well cover or cistern and removed for winter storage – mounted inside the home, or outdoor applications where freezing is not an issue. All Bison hand water Pumps are pressure pumps and may be used to pump water into your pressure tank. These pumps are self-priming and self-draining. The utility hand pump has a 2” diameter body and yields 11 ounces per stroke. The spout comes standard with a pail hook and garden hose connection.