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Off-the-grid homes are coming to your neighborhood, as climate change creates suburban survivalists

Off-the-grid homes are coming to your neighborhood, as climate change creates suburban survivalists

The Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t official begin until June 1, but excessive spring flooding has already displaced thousands of residents in Louisiana.

A freak ice storm in Texas in February took out much of the state’s power grid, plunging nearly 10 million people into a cold, dark catastrophe. More than 150 people died, and at an estimated $200 billion, it was the costliest natural disaster in the state’s history.

And California’s last wildfire season set the record for the largest amount of land burned in modern history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The fires destroyed over 10,000 structures and cost over $10 billion in property damage.

The growing effects of climate change are no longer seasonal. Increasingly extreme weather from climate change is now a year-round phenomenon. This has homebuilders reconsidering how they design and power new homes, and how to take them off the grid, so they can be more environmentally sustainable, as well as operational when disaster hits. It also has traditional homebuyers thinking more like survivalists.

“More severe storms each year are going to further and further indicate the needs for resilient development,” said Ben Keys, associate professor of real estate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School

Keys studies the effects of climate change on real estate and the growing need for housing that can function off the grid. This goes well beyond solar panels

“These houses can be built in much more efficient ways, so not just solar, but they can have their own water filters, other sources of electricity generation and a number of other efficient ways to manage their utilities,” said Keys.

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