A Central Florida company could be creating the house of the future. It's billed as a home that won't burn down, won't blow over, and can't be knocked down by natural forces.
Ron Ben-Zeev, with World Housing Solution, shows off his answer to sustainable housing: composite construction, using phenolic resin and fiberglass. It's the same concepts used at the International Space Station, and in Boeing 787 planes.
"So we're bringing space age material down to Earth," he explains, with a kind of childish pride. "At some point, we are going to run out of some natural resources -- wood is one of them -- and so there are better solutions."
The idea was inspired by a the catastrophic earthquake which struck Haiti in 2010. "Hundreds of thousands of people displaced," Ben-Zeev said. "Most of them living in tents, if they're lucky, or in the streets."
Stories of women who were sexually assaulted and attacked, because they had no safe refuge after the storm, tugged at his heart strings the most.
"Once it's set up, it is earthquake resistant, hurricane resistant, and will provide the ability for women and families to lock themselves in and be protected, so they don't have to fear for their lives."
The prototype has gained popularity and captured the attention of the U.S. Navy. After assembly in an understated Edgewater warehouse, it was shipped to a base in Mississippi.
"And [it] has survived already one hurricane and three tropical storms without any ill effects. It's here! it's real!"
The structure is surprisingly sturdy. Pressure from a heavy hammer clearly crumbles a cinder block, but the beating doesn't affect the Styrofoam-wrapped material. And fire doesn't penetrate the surface.
"It will not rot, it will not mold, it will not mildew because there is no wood in it, termites are not attracted to it," said Ben-Zeev.
It sounds too good to be true, but he said the proof is in his product. He calls is a perfect solution for first responders, rescue crews, and military personnel, but he said these materials could be used to build homes down the road.
"We can actually build a house out of this on the Chain of Lakes in Winter Park and when it's all said and done, you will have no idea what its made of," he said. "You wouldn't have to pay any money in air conditioning, because you can run everything off solar and wind, because it's such an efficient structure."
While that reality may be a few years in the making, for now, World Housing Solutions will continue its research and development in Central Florida.
They want to make emergency shelter faster and better, and they need your help to do it. They are hoping to raise $17,000. To find out how to help fund their project, click here.