Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Candace Jackson writes that an increasing number of home builders and buyers are looking for a new kind of security: homes equipped to handle everything from hurricanes, tornados and hybrid superstorms like this week's Sandy, to man-made threats ranging from home invasion to nuclear war and fueling the rise of these often-fortresslike homes are new technologies and building materials—which builders say will ultimately be used on a more widespread basis in storm- and earthquake-threatened areas. For example, Alys Beach, a 158-acre luxury seaside community on Florida's Gulf Coast, have earned the designation of Fortified...for safer living® homes and are designed to withstand strong winds. The roofs have two coats of limestone and exterior walls have 8 inches of concrete, reinforced every 32 inches for "bunkerlike" safety, according to marketing materials. Other builders are producing highly hurricane-proof residences that are circular in shape with "radial engineering" wherein roof and floor trusses link back to the home's center like spokes on a wheel, helping to dissipate gale forces around the structure with Deltec, a North Carolina–based builder, saying it has never lost a circular home to hurricanes in over 40 years of construction. But Doug Buck says some "extreme" building techniques don't make financial sense. "You get to a point of diminishing returns," says Buck. "You're going to spend so much that honestly, it would make more sense to let it blow down and rebuild it.""
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