New tornado-proof dome-shaped houses under construction in Tuscaloosa
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (WIAT) – Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the deadly tornado outbreak in Alabama, killing 254 Alabamans, including 53 in Tuscaloosa.
Tuscaloosa’s construction company, New Age Dome Construction, is building five tornado-safe homes in the Alberta community in hopes of saving lives if another tornado hits the area again.
“They are storm resistant, they have been proven by the highest court in the land for winds of 250 miles per hour. So the projectile rating is only 40 pounds less than a tornado shelter for the whole building. Like I tell people if you have a safe room its great you have your life. But if you have a dome, you have your life and your business, ”said John Johnson, owner of New Age Dome Construction.
Johnson says his dome-shaped homes can withstand EF-5 tornadoes with winds of 250 mph. He tells CBS 42 that the shapes of the road force the wind to bypass the buildings and protect the owners inside.
“An EF-5 tornado will impact a disaster at the rate of 100 pounds per square foot. This would impact a square structure at 400 pounds per square foot. So you have the whole structure getting stronger no matter what, ”Johnson said.
New Age Dome Construction has built thousands of tornado-protected homes across the country and dozens in Tuscaloosa County. The houses cost around $ 240,000.
“There are only three good things I can say about a dome, they are cheaper to build. They are cheaper to heat and cool and they are ten times stronger than a box in the wind, other than that I have nothing good to say about them, ”Johnson said.
The new homes in Alberta will be rented for college football game weekends. They should be ready next fall.