Home Trends: Designing for Safety and Protection

Each year, many natural disasters occur through­out the United States. Wildfires, hur­ri­canes, tornadoes and flooding are respon­si­ble for damaging and destroy­ing thousands of homes. 

Research shows that 43% of homes in the U.S. have a high or very high risk of being impacted by some type of natural disaster, pre­sent­ing a sig­nif­i­cant threat to families, busi­ness­es and the economy. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmos­pher­ic Admin­is­tra­tion (NOAA) reports the U.S. spent a total of $91 billion on disaster-related events in 2018

As we continue to develop land through­out the country, we face the increas­ing risk posed by natural disasters. In par­tic­u­lar, Texas is ranked #1 in the U.S. for the variety and frequency of these events.

While there is no guarantee you can avoid natural disasters, you can be more prepared for them by designing homes with the right materials that provide added layers of safety and pro­tec­tion. Let’s review some building materials that should be con­sid­ered during the design phase, espe­cial­ly in areas like Texas where you are more prone to extreme weather events.

Traditional or Disaster Resilient Frames?

Unlike windows, doors and siding, it’s not easy to replace the frame of your home once it’s built. That’s why the frame material you choose in the design phase plays a vital role in pro­tect­ing your home.



Most homes are designed and built using tra­di­tion­al materials like wood framing, but when you consider the threat of natural disasters, espe­cial­ly in areas like Texas, there aren’t many advan­tages to using these con­ven­tion­al materials. 

While it’s possible to build wood-frame homes that would withstand a natural disaster, the frame must be able to achieve a con­tin­u­ous load path to the ground and be resistant to flying debris. The labor and con­struc­tion involved to meet these standards with wood-framing are often cost pro­hib­i­tive, costing 25 – 30% more than standard con­struc­tion methods. 

When choosing materials to build the frame of your home, you want to achieve a high level of dura­bil­i­ty and strength to be prepared for natural disasters. Disaster resilient design protects the struc­tur­al integrity of your building and adds an important layer of pro­tec­tion for anyone who may become trapped inside during a weather event. 



Resilient design follows national building codes for water, earth­quake, storm and fire resis­tance. The Federal Emergency Man­age­ment Agency (FEMA) and the Inter­na­tion­al Code Council (ICC) Family of Companies offer a lot of advice and rec­om­men­da­tions about resilient design and how to follow code adherence. For cost-effective rec­om­men­da­tions, the ICC suggests using the current Inter­na­tion­al Codes (I‑Codes).

insulated concrete blocks (ICB) are often used in resilient design and offer a lot more safety and pro­tec­tion compared to tra­di­tion­al wood frames. But which one offers the most advan­tages from both a design and safety stand­point in your area?

Choose the Materials That Keep You Safe 

On average, Texas expe­ri­ences at least one major natural disaster every year. Tornado Alley” reaches into Texas, hur­ri­canes have long been respon­si­ble for causing severe wind and water damage, flooding is a common occur­rence after intense rains, and the harsh climate often creates severe droughts and wildfires. Using building materials like ICFs in your design will help ensure your building and its occupants are protected from the potential harm these events bring.

Bautex wall icb

The Bautex Wall System is a great example of a type of ICB that has superior fire resistant prop­er­ties, espe­cial­ly when compared to tra­di­tion­al ICFs, and the right level of con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion built into the block that is required to meet today’s codes. It can also be built up to twice as fast a CMU wall using less labor and decreas­ing the cost and con­struc­tion time. 

The Bautex Blocks serve as forms for building a steel-rein­forced concrete wall where the blocks stay in place after the concrete is installed to provide enclosure and insu­la­tion for the building. Bautex Block has been fully tested and is rec­og­nized by inter­na­tion­al building codes. 

For an extra layer of pro­tec­tion against wind-driven rain and other types of moisture, the Bautex AMB20 Air and Moisture Barrier can quickly and easily be applied to exterior wall sub­strates like Bautex Block, concrete or CMU. 

Block wall


Bautex AMB20 is lab-tested to meet the Air Barrier Asso­ci­a­tion of America’s minimum standards for wall air barrier assem­blies and also meets and exceeds the code require­ments of res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion projects across all U.S. climate zones, giving you a solid solution for con­tin­u­ous air and moisture control.

Be Prepared for Natural Disasters

Storm ocean


As the threat of natural disasters continues to increase, it’s important to always design with the weather in mind. Con­sid­er­ing the use of disaster resilient building materials in the planning phases helps ensure you are pro­tect­ing your invest­ment and its occupants for the long-term. 

Contact Bautex today to find out more about the Bautex Wall System and every­thing we offer to keep your next home safe from extreme weather events.