Modern Home Builder - Winter 2016 - Volume 2 - 105
insists. "Even the pitched roof and gutters are concrete." The outer
concrete shell of the house protects a conventional home inside.
"Inside is all normal sheetrock," Willmer points out. "You never
know you're living in a concrete bunker except when you need it
to protect you."
The home is poured concrete and shotcrete so it is a single
monolithic structure. Inside, metal studs with drywall create essentially a second home inside the concrete house. Closed cell
foam is sprayed onto the concrete in the two-and-a-half-inch space
between the concrete and the studs to create an airtight, monolithic structure which also leads to an extremely energy-efficient and
sustainable home, as well.
A limited palette of colors can be molded into the home's exterior, so many concrete homes use a special waterproofing exterior
paint with a wide range of color selections and a 10-year warranty.
Thermal breaks keep the interior 20-gauge metal studs separate
from the concrete exterior so no thermal bridging occurs. This
design also eliminates condensation in the corners of the structure and subsequent formation of mold. Because the homes use no
wood, no shrinking, swelling or pests are a problem, especially in
a coastal environment. The interior is totally isolated.
Leeward Living elevates houses on platform decks designed per FEMA guidelines.
the homes are finished and another five are breaking ground or in
different stages of construction. Five more concrete homes are in
the approval process prior to construction.
The concrete homes have been built in traditional, transitional
and modern styles but can be built in any style. "We're a young-
"Following Sandy, I saw a
need to rebuild not just faster but better, more resilient
and sustainable homes."
JAMES WILLMER, PRESIDENT
POURED IN STAGES
The concrete pour is done in stages, with first the footing, columns
and the elevated platform deck designed per FEMA guidelines for
a Coastal V-zone poured. The deck is comprised of double-reinforced steel and rated significantly above the local New York City
wind code. This assists in reducing the cost of flood insurance for
The next stage is to pour the reinforced walls and the roof over
the edge of the walls to give the look of trim. Because the home is
monolithically sealed, Willmer says it is 99 percent impervious to
water. Special taping and flashing is applied to the hurricane-resistant doors and impact-resistant windows.
The concrete homes are being built in Breezy Point - a co-operative community of single-family homes which has undergone a
massive rebuilding process since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Four of
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