Pensmore Videos The Ultimate Tornado-Proof Home
Pensmore, The 72,000-square-foot Ultimate Tornado-Proof Home under construction in Highlandville, Missouri
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In the Midwest, Steve Huff is aiming to build the ultimate tornado-proof home. Mr. Huff, a software entrepreneur, is building a 70,000-square-foot reinforced-concrete, chateau-style home in rural Christian County, Mo. The home, known as Pensmore, has 12-inch-thick walls and ballistic-proof windows that have been tested to withstand the equivalent of a two-by-four board traveling at 40 miles an hour, mimicking the speed at which debris can be hurtled during a big storm. "If a tornado came up, you'd be foolish to leave this house," Mr. Huff says.
Mr. Huff, who is an investor in a concrete company, says that the home will also be resistant to intruders: "It would be like trying to drill your way through a bank vault."
When it is completed in early 2014, it will be one of the largest private homes in America. Mr. Huff says he plans to have lots of extended family stay with him, as well as visiting writers, scientists and other students who may want to study the safety and environmentally sustainable technologies used to construct the home.