Material manufacturer Re-Structure Group has begun using a new 3D cementitious sandwich panel in the United States to help protect homes during natural disasters. As CNBC reports, the material has been widely used around the world, but is now being tested in the United States. Designed for mass production, the panels are fireproof, seismic resistant beyond any earthquake recorded in human history, and are hurricane resistant. The material is made as a sustainable and resilient building system that aims to reshape the U.S. housing market.
Re-Structure Group manufacturers the 3D structural panel with fire retardant foam sandwiched between two wire mesh faces. The two faces are connected with reinforcement wires that run through the foam and the panel is enveloped in concrete. Ken Calligar, CEO of RSG 3-D, said that, "Housing economists will tell you that 77 percent of homes built in the United States are at extreme risk for some type of natural disaster. The East Coast is primarily hurricane, the Midwest is tornadoes, the Rockies and the West are wildfire and seismic events. Our system is resistant to all of that."
As the report mentions, last year was the costliest year on record for climate disasters in the U.S., with over $300 billion in damages, according to the NOAA. While the material is not new outside the United States, large scale manufacturing has been a longstanding issue. Now, a company in Austria called EVG was able to create machines to assemble the panels, bringing down manufacturing costs. RSG 3-D is bringing the material to the United States as a way to demonstrate its potential for for mass production in the context of building codes, skilled labor costs and lumber costs.