Although many people welcome the brisk fall weather as a much-needed relief from oppressive summer heat and humidity, those who live in areas of the world prone to wildfires see it as a serious threat to their homes. Like California for instance, which according to a press release issued yesterday by The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, has seen 20 percent more wildfires this year than the state's average. And the late fall months don't promise much precipitation either, making the outlook a little ominous for homeowners in the area.
Fortunately, Joost Bakker, a sustainable designer in Victoria, Australia, has designed a fire-resistant straw house that was engineered to withstand the high heat of the most intense bushfires. The CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, even tested the house back in 2010 with a bushfire simulator and concluded that this groundbreaking design could indeed withstand the fires and temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius. The first house of its kind is currently under construction so that it will be done in time for the quickly approaching bushfire season.
The house is built on a steel frame covered in magnesium oxide, and the entire structure is insulated with straw. And to make it even more eco-friendly and sustainable, the straw for this home is coming from a local farmer. Hopefully, this innovative approach to home construction will not only spread throughout Australia, but also make its way overseas to help others battle similar ecological threats to their homes.