My personal favorite, and what I'll use to put up Chez Bedlam when we get the land paid off:
Insulated concrete forms. ICF kicks ass. You have what amounts to Lego blocks for building your house. They're very dense foam, and most systems lock
together (like Legos). Once you get them in place, they're banded together and you pour the wall/floor with concrete using the Lego blocks as a 3D
mold. You can make the walls up to 12" thick with standard systems if you like (most use 8", but I'm likely going 12").
Properly erected, it'll take a direct hit from a cat 5, and a tornado might not damage it, depending on trees.
It's got a HUGE R factor. Just huge. Between the mass effect and the insulation from the concrete and the forms (they stay in place after), you're
looking at wall effective R's up in the high 20's, low 30's. If you combine an ICF home with a groundwater heat pump (depends on where you're at) you
might not be looking at more than $50 a month for HVAC. ICF is also airtight - you actually need fresh air intakes designed in, mostly you use a heat
exchanger so you don't lose your cold/heat. But in a TEOTWAWKI situation, you could shut that down and isolate the house from zombie virus or clouds
of CS tear gas.
It's bullet proof for small caliber fire. Maybe not 50 cal but it's close at 12".
Bugs won't eat it, cause they don't know how.
It won't burn, especially if you use poured concrete roof slabs, at least one ICF system can do a poured roof slab that has 'textured-on' shingles.
You just repaint the roof occasionally. All systems can make your attic roof a solid slab, though, and you just put a conventional roof on for
It's dead silent inside one.
And for all that, they look just like a conventional house, if that's what you want, can be multi-story too. They're about 5%-10% more expensive than
stick frame, but you have lower energy costs, lower insurance, and no termite spray.
edit to add: if you had the concrete roof/concrete attic setup, you could dedicate an inner room space to a fallout shelter. Add a 6" paraffin lining
to the room, you'd be set against fairly bad fallout and some neutron radiation. 12" of high density concrete isn't bad shielding.
29-1-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)