Concrete Homes Going Up in Northeast Dallas

Clean-up efforts are in full force after a confirmed 10 tornadoes ripped across North Texas last week.

They twisted through like wrecking balls for everything in their paths.

City officials estimate the storms caused more than $277 million in damage.

Multiple businesses and homes are demolished leaving people scrambling to figure out what's next.

One North Texas builder says homes he builds can withstand wind from an EF-5 tornado.

From the road, you'd never know one of his homes being built in northeast Dallas is any different than a traditional wood-frame house.

But, the walls are made of concrete sandwiched between two layers of foam.

"It's a giant Yeti cooler disguised as a house," said builder Alan Hoffmann, owner of Hoffmann Homes.

The foam creates a cavity that's filled with six-inch thick concrete.

Hoffmann says that makes it energy efficient and tornado resistant.

"It stops a 2x4 at 100mph, it just shatters a 2x4 when it hits a wall," he said.

Years ago, researchers at Texas Tech University put construction to the test.

They shot a 2x4 out of a cannon. It flies straight through a typical brick wall and shatters when it strikes a concrete slab.

In theory, every room in the homes is safe but some even have pantries that double as safe rooms because they don't have windows or doors that can be penetrated. The pantry door is made of steel, Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann says concrete homes are two to six percent more expensive than traditional wood-frame homes. He says the siding is also fire resistant.

They take about two weeks longer to build, he said, and the technique can't be retrofitted on existing homes.

Hoffmann is creating a new development made entirely out of concrete homes. He said plots of land go on sale in January. 

He says more school districts are using the material to build, too. For example, a gym in Carrollton was built with 15.5-inch thick concrete capable of withstanding 250-mile-per-hour winds.

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