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Featured Project | Helping Joplin Rebuild
Helping Joplin RebuildProject Profile: Helping Joplin Rebuild after 2011 Tornado

After the May 22, 2011 tornado ripped through the small Missouri town of Joplin, destroying 30% of the city and leaving hundreds injured and homeless, TF Forming Systems partnered with Convoy of Hope to offer more than just houses – peace of mind, safety and a better life.

TF has been contracted to build up to 18 homes in Joplin. The first six homes were completed with General Contractor, George Van Hoesen of Global Green Building. Van Hoesen will be using the ThermoForm system by TF Forming Systems, the same company building the Pensmore home in Highlandville, MO. (

Two more homes were recently completed under Convoy of Hope’s construction department.

Like so many of those directly affected by the tornado, the stories of the homeowners are heartbreaking. With these new homes, their quality of life will be better than it was before the storm.

“One of the home owners was on a level pay of $200 a month for her gas bill and was paying another $50 a month for electric. She wouldn’t turn the heat on unless it was so cold, she couldn’t stand it,” explains Van Hoesen, General Contractor and energy expert. “She couldn’t afford to eat, pay for insurance and pay her utility bill. With the ThermoForm system, we anticipate her total utility bill to be under $75 a month, allowing her to afford everything she needs to live comfortably.”

Three months after the homeowner moved into her home, she began reporting utility bills that ranged anywhere from $40-$60 a month – a dramatic difference compared to the previous year and during a 2012 summer of reported record heat.

“These homes are survivable in a storm. The windows may blow out or they may lose part of the roof, but the overall structure will be able to survive a storm, which is something they didn’t have before,” Van Hoesen says.

The walls of the home have Helix added to the concrete. These tiny steel fibers are twisted, acting like cork screws when force is applied. Adding these to the concrete that is encased between 2 ½ inches of rigid foam, the walls achieve 250 mph wind speed ratings. Additionally, the roofs have been secured using hurricane ties and the eves have been constructed to breakaway during extreme wind events. All of this technology has given the Joplin residents stronger, more resilient homes than they ever had before – and perhaps more than anyone else rebuilding in the community.

TF Forming Systems’ President, Jerry Spude, says this is just one reason why TF’s wall systems are needed in today’s climate.

"It is our responsibility as a company to build homes that are energy efficient and disaster resistant. It is our responsibility as people to make sure those affected by disasters like the one in Joplin are given the opportunity to not only rebuild, but rebuild better. Along with Convoy of Hope, we believe we are achieving that”, says Jerry Spude, President of TF Forming Systems.

Project Details:
Non-profit relief organization: Convoy of Hope
General Contractor: George Van Hoesen, Global Green Building
Building System: TF Forming Systems
Total number of homes: 18; six beginning immediately
Location: Between 15th and 32nd Streets

Home details:
• 1150 SF
• 2 & 3 bedroom
• 1 ½ bath


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