AFTER (Affordable Fire, Tornado and Earthquake Resistant) Homes Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization established in 2012 with the Mission Statement:
Providing safe, affordable, and sustainable concrete dome housing and other structures for people in need throughout the world.
The AFTER Homes Foundation promotes monolithic concrete dome structures which:
ARE RESISTANT TO FIRES, TORNADOES, AND EARTHQUAKES
These unique, concrete dome structures are substantially safer than conventionally built structures, and are better able to withstand severe environmental conditions, including fires, earthquakes and tornadoes. The durable steel reinforced concrete shell exterior does not burn, its strength and shape resist tornado force winds, and its monolithic, all-in-one integrated structural design provides much greater resistance to earthquakes than conventional construction types.
REQUIRE AS LITTLE AS 6 TO 8 WEEKS TO BUILD A HOME
Construction of a concrete dome home can be completed much faster than a conventionally built structure, and often at a lower cost. When you consider homes located in areas affected by fires, tornadoes and earthquakes, the cost becomes lower over time, because this structure only has to be built only once. Wood-framed homes and other structures are not as able to survive the force of a tornado without significant damage, as we have frequently seen in recent years. Monolithic concrete AFTER Homes are better able to survive, and to protect its inhabitants in areas prone to fires and earthquakes as well.
CAN BE USED TO BUILD HOMES, SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, AND STRUCTURES AS LARGE AS SPORTS ARENAS
The unique dome shape of an AFTER Home is more in tune with nature and has a wonderful, tranquil quality about it. The homes are versatile, too, with many floor plans for both single and multifamily residences available.
An AFTER Home shelter can be added to your current residence to provide a storm shelter which can also be used as a bedroom suite, family room, recreation room or home office.
A monolithic concrete dome is not limited to smaller applications. There is virtually no limit regarding a dome’s size, and can be a beautiful and logical solution in the building of public structures (churches, schools, concert halls, auditoriums and sports arenas).
ARE ECO-FRIENDLY, REQUIRE APPROXIMATELY 50% OF THE ENERGY REQUIRED FOR HEATING AND COOLING OF A WOOD FRAME HOME, AND LAST INDEFINITELY
A concrete dome home is in fact a reinforced concrete structure that is expected to last as long as any other reinforced concrete structure would; potentially for hundreds of years. Its longevity conserves the earth’s resources. Also, the energy efficient nature of concrete domes makes this type of structure very cost efficient to operate, requiring much less energy for heating and cooling. Concrete domes have a high thermal mass, so that the temperature of the concrete remains more constant than wood or steel construction. The insulation of a monolithic concrete structure is outside of the high thermal mass concrete, keeping its temperature more constant and protecting the building’s interior from the daily and seasonal fluctuations of outside temperatures.
INCORPORATE LITTLE OR NO WOOD AND ARE RESISTANT TO MOLD AND TERMITES
There is very little or no wood used in the construction of an AFTER Home, thus AFTER Homes have no mold or termite issues, making them even more environmentally friendly. For families who have allergy issues, an AFTER Home can provide a healthier solution. Global deforestation is a worldwide problem, potentially making the earth less habitable with each passing day. Trees do not need people to survive, however people must have plants and trees to utilize carbon gases and to provide oxygen for us. Building construction is currently one of the greatest utilizers of wood, even though wood is not a good building material due to its susceptibility to deterioration by moisture, mold, and termites, its ability to easily burn, its fragility against tornadoes and earthquakes, and its inability to create buildings which are easily heated and cooled. So why are we still using so much wood?
ARE HAIL RESISTANT, WITH NO ROOF SHINGLES
Re-roofing is a frequent home maintenance cost in areas prone to storms. An AFTER Home does not have roof shingles requiring replacement after hail storms.
REQUIRE LITTLE OR NO PAINTING
A typical AFTER Home has little or no exterior surfaces requiring paint, additionally reducing upkeep and maintenance costs.
AFTER Homes founder, Douglas Stanton, is an architect in Los Angeles originally from Texas and Oklahoma who has seen firsthand the destruction caused by extreme weather. It was after the Joplin, Missouri tornado in May 2011 that Stanton recalled Los Angeles architect
Wallace Neff’s concrete airform domes of the 1940’s, and wondered if they would be tornado resistant. Once Stanton realized that the airform structures are not only tornado resistant, but that they are also fire and earthquake resistant, as well as a very eco-friendly way to build, he formed the AFTER Homes Foundation in 2012 with the mission of building these structures for people in need throughout the world.
Wallace Neff was a prolific Los Angeles architect during the 1920’s, designing grand Spanish style homes for Southern California’s affluent during Hollywood’s early golden era. However, with the coming of the Great Depression, Neff looked to develop new ways to build in a time threatened with more wars and a world of changing economies and developing nations. Neff was very inventive to develop, with the Goodyear Company, a method of building structures by applying concrete to inflated balloons, called airforms. This method was intended to provide safe and easy to construct housing and commercial buildings in the US and all over all over the world. Neff did succeed in building hundreds of airform homes, many in the US and in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia in the 1940’s and 1950’s. 1, 2, 3
Stanton first became aware of Wallace Neff’s airforms in 1983 at Harvard University, in Professor Eduard Sekler’s class: The History of Modern Architecture. Many years later, after moving to Los Angeles, Stanton attended a tour of Wallace Neff homes, all Spanish style and built in the 1920′s, with the exception of the dome house Neff designed for his brother, Andrew Neff, built in 1946. Since that tour, Stanton had the idea that he would like to revive this construction type and method.
In May of 2011, moved by the devastation of tornadoes and fires in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas and Stanton was inspired to further research Neff’s type of construction, which led him to David South, of Italy, Texas (www.monolithic.com). David South’s company, Monolithic Inc., has revived the airform technology begun by Neff and furthered it in many areas, including in the ease of construction and energy efficiency. The AFTER Homes Foundation’s mission is to promote the monolithic concrete structures for people in need, especially after disasters in the US and throughout the world, with the belief that Wallace Neff’s ideas were very advanced for his time, and that his concepts are an answer to today’s global problems of human safety, for the sustainability of the earth, and to create balanced and harmonious living and working environments. After Homes has developed single and multifamily home designs and has participated in two alternative construction expos in 2012, the Palm Springs Modernism Week and AltBuild Expo in Santa Monica, demonstrating the airform construction process.
A current objective of the AFTER Homes™ Foundation is to bring these affordable and lasting homes to those affected by the recent tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma. We are seeking funds to cover the cost of building these homes which may not be provided by insurance or FEMA. If you are interested in supporting our mission, please donate here.
For funding or press inquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have been affected by the tornadoes, please contact us about your interest in an AFTER Home on our Contact page.
- For more information on Wallace Neff and the airform structures, refer to No Nails, No Lumber: The Bubble Houses of Wallace Neff , by Jeffrey Head, 2011, Princeton Architectural Press.
- See article on Wallace Neff by Jeffrey Head in Modernism Magazine, Spring 2012 (PDF download).
- See article in L.A.Times “The rise and fall of Wallace Neff’s bubble houses” by Jeffrey Head, 2011
AFTER HOMES FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Douglas Stanton, Architect – AFTER Homes President
Principal of Douglas Stanton Architects in Los Angeles, CA, Douglas studied architecture at Texas A & M, Harvard, and Princeton Universities. He received his Master of Architecture degree from Princeton in 1987 and is a Registered Architect in the State of California. His employment experiences from 1979-1982 include the firms of McCaleb, Nusbaum, and Thomas in Edmond, OK and Bozalis and Roloff in Oklahoma City.
Doug has taught architecture studio and lecture courses at the University of Arkansas and the University of Texas at Arlington, including architectural design studios, architectural rendering, and ‘The History of the House in England and America’.
In 2009 and 2010, Doug served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Youth Network, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help abused, neglected and homeless adolescents become self-sufficient. His architectural firm performed a crucial role in the remodel of a home for homeless teenagers in Hollywood.
Since opening his own office, Doug’s projects have included residential, commercial, and landscape projects in California and Texas.
Steven Strom – CEO and Secretary
Steven R. Strom is a communications specialist for The Aerospace Corporation in Los Angeles. He holds an M.A. in American History from Boston College. Steven headed the Architectural Archive at the Houston Metropolitan Research center (HMRC) for nine years and later served as director of HMRC. He has published more than 60 articles on architectural history, the history of space exploration, and the history of both the city of Houston, Texas, and the state of Texas. In addition he has published the books Houston: Lost and Unbuilt; International Launch Site Guide, and the forthcoming Bob Bailey’s Houston to be published by the University of Texas Press in 2014.
Professor George Gintole, Board Member
Architectural Designer and tenured professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture, George Gintole studied The Cooper Union and received his Master of Architecture at Princeton University in 1980. He has taught at many fine schools of architecture, including Harvard University, the University of Lund (Sweden), and University of Virginia. George is a principal at The Art of Logic, with design projects across America and the UK, and is an honored member of the AIA.