NEW YORK: It started with Hurricane Katrina: the flooded houses in New Orleans festering with mold, many uninhabitable to this day. Then came the earthquake in Haiti: thousands dead, crushed by homes that should have been their sanctuaries.
James Savage, then a Wall Street analyst living on Central Park West, grew disturbed about the conditions he saw on television and in the newspapers.
“There has to be something better we can do than this,” he recalled thinking last week as he sat at the kitchen table inside his new home here on a cliff overlooking the Hudson River 120 miles north of New York City.
The solution he has come up with is not some space-age polymer or recycled composite but a material that has been in use for millenniums, though it is more often demonized than venerated on these shores.