Our hearts go out to all the folks suffering due to wildfires in California, Oregon, and my home state of Washington. 2020 has been a difficult year on multiple fronts, and these wildfires cause massive property damage, displacement, and loss of life throughout the region.
Building with non-combustible materials such as steel is one way to mitigate this threat. Without the fuel provided by stick-framed construction, fire risk is greatly reduced. Oddly, this measure is rarely discussed in spite of the massive and ongoing destruction of homes and other buildings.
HabiTek’s most recent Beta Project, the Adapt-1, is an excellent example of fire-resistant construction. For this vacation house on the Baja Peninsula Sur in Mexico, our client insisted that NO wood be used. Rather than wildfires, though, the owner was concerned about “critters,” primarily termites, that feed and nest in wood. To create the Adapt-1, we combined HabiTek’s steel framing system with a composite slab (steel decking and concrete). This approach could be very beneficial to folks in forested areas of the West.
BTW: The initial design concept for the Adapt-1 was provided by the owner. A non-combustible HabiTek house could also be slab-on-grade, sport a hip or gable end roof, be two stories, or consist of countless other variations.