A former NBA champion is changing ‘how the world builds’ to fight the climate crisis

CNN Business

Three years ago, there was a hurricane the Bahamas was destroyed and many lives were lost. Today, the country is building what it claims is the first carbon-neutral housing community to reduce the risk of future climate disasters and alleviate the lack of destroyed by storm.

Rick Fox, a former Los Angeles Lakers player, is the owner of the new housing project. The former basketball player and Bahamian citizen was driven to action after witnessing the destruction caused Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Fox collaborated with architect Sam Marshall, whose Malibu home was severely damaged in a wildfire in 2018, to create Partanna, an architectural product that captures the coolness of the air.

The technology is being tested in the Bahamas, where Fox’s company, Partanna Bahamas, is working with the government to build a facility. 1,000 hurricane-resistant buildings, including single-family homes and apartments. The first 30 units will be delivered next year to the Abaco Islands, which were hit hard by Dorian.

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The Partanna home model, built near the Partanna manufacturing factory in Bacardi, Bahamas.

“Innovation and new technology will play an important role in avoiding the worst weather conditions,” said Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, in a statement. He is expected to formally announce the partnership between the Bahamian government and Partanna Bahamas on Wednesday at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt.

As a country at the forefront of climate change, the Bahamas knows “time is running out,” Fox told CNN Business. “There is no time to wait for someone to save them,” he added.

“Technology can turn the tide, and at Partanna we’ve created a solution that will change the way we live,” Fox said.

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Partanna is a natural and recycled feedstock, including iron ore, a byproduct of steelmaking, and salt from desalination. It is free of resins and plastics and avoids the pollution associated with cement production, which accounts for approximately 4%-8% of global carbon emissions from human activities.

The use of salt, meanwhile, helps with the wastewater industry’s waste problem by preventing the toxic solution from being dumped into the ocean.

Almost all buildings naturally absorb carbon dioxide through a process called carbonization – where the CO2 in the air reacts with the minerals in the concrete – however According to Partanna, carbon removal from his villages is faster due to the resource intensity.

The material emits no carbon during production.

Partanna house 1,250 square feet contribute “a small amount” of CO2 during production, while removing 22.5 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere after production, it is “very carbon negative in the life cycle of the product,” according to the company.

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By comparison, a standard cement building of the same size produces 70.2 tons of CO2 during production.

The use of salt water in Partanna homes prevents corrosion from seawater, which is ideal for residents of small island countries such as the Bahamas. That makes it easier for homeowners to get insurance.

Carbon credits generated from each home are sold and used to fund a variety of social impact projects, including promoting home ownership among low-income families.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the deaths of Rick Fox and Sam Marshall as a result of Hurricane Dorian and wildfires.


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