Recovery, Houston 2018.

The Category-5 Storm Defense House brings elegance and comfort to storm proof design, even as it emphasizes strength, elevation and efficiency.

Recovery from Hurricane Harvey has required willpower, faith, and devotion to home and neighborhood.  Just as the ordeal of its floods arrived street by street, and house by house, recovery from the storm has unfolded mostly at the scale of the family home - one by one.  Reaching for normality has meant grueling hard work, and deep personal commitments.  Yes, recovery also means schools restored and jobs resumed.  But most importantly, it means regaining security in the home.

There’s an answer to extreme weather: superior construction, elevated to 60”+ above the flood, and engineered for 160 mph storms.

This web site is about reclaiming that security by way of superior construction, with a type of building we call the "Category-5 Storm Defense House."  Although made of conventional materials, assembled in conventional ways, it delivers a structure that is much stronger and more durable than ever before found in Houston residences.  It's stronger than the wind, higher than the flood, pleasing to the eye, and aesthetically compatible with Houston neighborhoods.  Priced at the city's median for first class construction, the Category-5 Storm Defense House is exactly the house dictated by the new rules of the new storms.



Sweeping lines, generous eaves up to 11', and gently sloping roofs give the Category-5 an unmistakably Mid-Century feel.  Poised among homes of Houston's classic modern period, or more recent buildings, it radiates comfort, elegance and durability.

The Category-5 design delivers pleasing proportions, great strength, flexible layouts and beautiful, hard wearing finishes.

The Category-5 boasts an enormously strong concealed steel framework - engineered for a 160 mph Category 5 storm.  As a result, interior walls are non-load bearing and can easily be reconfigured.  Although our base models of 2,000 and 2,800 square feet come with pre-designed layouts, we are happy to assist in modifying those plans, and well prepared to guide the redesign of kitchens and baths, if desired.  On the exterior, selection of stucco finishes and colors, configuration of deeply shaded terraces, and details such as the design of the building's stairs and skirts help lend a personal touch to every house.

While the details of a Category-5 can exactly reflect the owner's tastes, the massing of the building is marked by elevation to 60"+ above the Base Flood level.  Unobstructed "flow through" crawlspaces with break-away skirts help assure a clean ending to the flood event.  Importantly - and unlike typical custom homes - the Category-5 does not permit pooling of floodwaters under the house, or "rising damp" to bring mold and disease into the building.

The Category-5 is built in ways, and of materials that are inherently resistant to the mold, rot and pestilence that plague typical construction.

These days, it's unusual to talk about houses and design in terms of health and cleanliness.  However, one of the most important aspects of the Category-5's design is, simply, its hygiene.  Almost every aspect of the building contributes directly to defending against the dirt, disease, decay and pests that afflict typical custom home construction.  Built strong and clean, the Category-5 Storm Defense House is a home for the long term.



The Category-5's exterior walls, almost 14" thick, host radiant barrier and blown batt insulation that provide heat resistance equating to R-63 - much greater than the R-19 of typical custom homes.  Likewise, the roof hosts insulation equating to R-50 - much greater than the R-30 of custom homes.  Coupled with the roof's generous eaves - sponsoring cooling breezes as well as deep shade - these specifications create huge efficiencies.  Utility bills drop sharply, to a fraction of typical costs.  With 95%+ of the Cat-5's steel structure comprised of recycled material, the building promises a truly "green" footprint.