We are talking a lot about resilient design these days on TreeHugger, the ability of our buildings to withstand whatever the world might throw at us in a time of climate change and other threats. It is not quite the 50s again, with bomb shelters in the back yard; they are problematic anyways with moisture issues and the need to leave the house. Now Steve Bryan introduces the HabiFrame, a shelter made out of laminated strand engineered lumber, that you build like you would a room out of Lincoln Logs. Except these logs can resist " a 2-inch x 4-inch, 15 lb. missile propelled at 100 mph, which simulates identical debris being propelled horizontally by a 250 mph tornado"
The LP SolidStart LSL beams are assembled in a horizontal pattern, reinforced with Simpson Strong-Tie® steel structural support rods inserted at regular intervals. Interlocking corner joints and steel reinforcing plates add still more strength. The HabiFrame in-home storm shelter’s roof is constructed in the same manner, and the entire room is built on a specially designed poured concrete foundation. Sheet rock, paneling, or other finish materials are applied, giving the appearance of an ordinary room. A reinforced steel door provides safe, easy access. Standard HabiFrame in-home storm shelter size is 10 ft. x 10 ft., providing ample space for a family in the event of an emergency.
One would think that wood might not be the best choice because of fire resistance, but in fact the laminated strand wood acts much like cross laminated timber, in that it is so dense that it burns very slowly and develops a layer of char that protects it. They are also proposing that it be clad in 5/8 drywall, which is fire resistant.
It's an interesting idea. Most of the time it is a really, really quiet home office; in case of emergency it becomes something very different. It is also pretty green, in that SolidStart LSL uses 98% of fast-growing farmed wood and is formaldehyde free. So new there is not even a website yet, but you can see the brochure here and contact the inventor at SteveBryan214 (at) comcast.net