Courtesy RENCO USA

With a mission to construct stronger, more resilient structures that can withstand intensifying storms and devastating winds, RENCO USA has unveiled a new way to build that mirrors a popular children's toy: Legos.

RENCO, short for renewable composite, weaves together recycled glass fibers, recycled plastic, resin, and stone into a powerful material that’s rated to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Molded blocks interlock like Lego bricks to create entire structures, with the first 96-unit housing complex coming to life in Palm Springs, Florida.

“We now have the chance of a lifetime to revolutionize the future of construction,” says RENCO USA co-founder Tom Murphy Jr. ”This means creating homes that are not only sustainable and resilient, but built to endure for generations yet to come.”

Courtesy RENCO USA

Murphy has spent more than 50 years in the construction industry. As the CEO of Coastal Construction, he’s helped build some of the region’s most iconic projects, from the Aston Martin Residences to the Four Seasons Surf Club. But for Murphy, RENCO means much more.

Florida tops the list for the most expensive homeowners’ insurance in the country. The average cost is now $6,000 a year—a 42% increase over 2022—making it four times the national average, reports RENCO.

Last year, Hurricane Ian cost insurers roughly $63 billion, and the problem is only expected to get worse. Over the next 30 years, hurricanes will endanger an additional 13.4 million properties according to First Street Foundation, a climate change nonprofit.

Courtesy RENCO USA

“Storms not only jeopardize our homes, but we're also enduring the year-round burden of historically elevated property insurance rates,” says Palm Springs Mayor Bev Smith. “Today, we stand with pride, unveiling a more resilient approach to construction right here in Palm Springs. This serves as a potential blueprint for communities not only in the Sunshine State but far beyond.”