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Here’s a Team of Students Who Built a Green Home That Can Take On Tornadoes

March 21, 2014
Here’s a Team of Students Who Built a Green Home That Can Take On Tornadoes
U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 YouTube
Not only are these houses eco-friendly, but they can be rapidly built, too.

After a natural disaster strikes, repairing or rebuilding a home can take years. And in times of need — like when there’s no roof over your head — speed is of the utmost importance.

Back in 2011, in response to the devastating tornado that hit Streator, Illinois, a team of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Chapman designed a sustainable, modular home that could be set up in just a few hours. (Amazing, right?) That year, their design — called the Re_home — took home several awards and placed second in the prestigious U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.

Flash forward a few years. Now, this school project may be put towards real world use. As the University of Illinois wrote in a recent newsletter, with the help of nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity, Re_homes will be set up in Gifford, Illinois, a community that’s still picking up the pieces after a monster twister ripped through the town this past November.

MORE: How a Tornado-Stricken Town Became a Model of American Sustainability

Re_homes are affordable, safe, and even environmentally responsible. As Mother Nature Network reported, they are tricked out with solar rooftops and have energy-saving features such as tripled-paned windows, a conditioning energy recovery ventilator (CERV), and a solar shading canopy.

Habitat for Humanity is reportedly still working out the details of these homes, but once they go up, it will certainly allow for towns like Gifford — and perhaps future disaster-stricken areas — rebuild and recover.