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Company develops incredible building material for disaster-proof homes: 'Every year we have tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods'

It took around 10 years to develop the new material.

It took around 10 years to develop the new material.

Photo Credit: Paul Staples

A company based in the Philippines has manufactured a new type of construction material called "structural insulated panels," or SIPs, that can withstand many types of natural disasters.

The company, Archipelago 7000, took around 10 years to develop the SIPs, according to the company's chief marketing officer, Paul Staples, who discussed it with Ke Alaka'i, Brigham Young University-Hawaii's student publication. The final result was an insulated panel made with magnesium oxide, consisting of a foam layer sandwiched between layers of cement.

Staples, an alumnus of Brigham Young University-Hawaii, explained to the outlet that a house built using SIPs is resistant to mold and termites and can also protect against natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and fires.

The SIPs also reportedly allow for much cheaper construction than conventional materials, as they are built off-site and can then be assembled like Lego blocks.

Natural-disaster-resistant, inexpensive housing should be welcome in both Hawaiʻi and the Philippines, both of which have been hit by increasingly intense extreme weather events recently — a result of changing weather patterns brought on by human-caused pollution.

In Hawaiʻi, the island of Maui saw its deadliest natural disaster in decades this past year, with wildfires killing around 100 people and damaging or destroying more than 2,200 structures, per Maui Now.

The Philippines recently experienced devastating floods and landslides, with experts saying that changing weather patterns were at least partially to blame, reported E&E News. 

"If you live in the Philippines, every year we have tornados, earthquakes, and floods [which can cause waters to rise] all the way to the chest. Some uncertified people tried to wire [housing] themselves which [have] caused fire accidents too," said Chris Manongdo, a Brigham Young University-Hawaii student from the Philippines to the university publication. 

Manongdo said that he was able to help Staples perform some tests on the SIP material. He went on to say that he wanted his future home to be built out of the material.

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