Published at Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 - 06:38:34 AM. Kitchen Room. By Adaliz Lorenz.
Why its happening: Natural disasters are occurring more frequently and sometimes with little warning. The most forward-thinking homebuilders are developing resilient solutions for new and existing homes. “The weather is getting almost biblical, and homes that dont address that run a legitimate risk of being seriously damaged or destroyed and having their resale value put in question,” says Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture and Planning Solutions in Chicago. His designs include oversized gutters and downspouts that direct water to rain gardens or other landscape features that can handle intense rain. He also recommends an ice and water shield on the roof to create a rain barrier, so the interior has greater protection. Coastal homes should add hurricane straps where the roof and walls intersect, he says, to reduce possible wind damage. Sustainable features are also critical to decarbonize the built environment and conserve resources. Kipnis favors all-electric systems, including induction cooktops, mini-split HVAC systems, and heat pump water heaters. Homeowners could take it a step further and have the garage wired to be a charging station for electric cars and add solar panels to the roof.
Light and fire. Low-voltage, energy-efficient illumination for the outdoors is now easy to install, even without an electrician. It can be placed along paths, in grass, water features, and trees to extend garden use past dusk. Lighting also helps homeowners enjoy their gardens from afar by spotlighting different garden focal points so they can be enjoyed during inclement weather or when residents are otherwise unable to venture out. Real flames and light can flicker safely in gas-fired tiki-style torches or a fire pit to expand a gardens use into evening. Fire offers a mental health benefit since it tends to call people together to sit and linger, which is especially helpful for for those feeling isolated. “Theres something almost tribal about being around a fire together,” says Sachs.
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