The Venus Project’s Research Center Survives Hurricane Irma

Many people have asked how we fared through Hurricane Irma, so we wanted to update you about that event. Jacque always wanted to put his buildings to test with a good size hurricane, and he sure got his wish with this one.

Irma was unprecedented as the largest, most powerful hurricane in terms of maximum sustained winds ever witnessed in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as one of the most intense hurricanes ever recorded in history and at a category 5 rating, the strongest parts of the storm were predicted to tear right through Florida. At 650-miles-wide (~1050 km), it was enormous, especially given that the peninsula of Florida is only about 160 miles (~260 km) across in comparison. To make matters worse, the land in Venus, Florida was designated as part of a flood zone (wetlands) several years after the purchase of the land.

We at The Venus Project were mainly concerned with the potential flood waters, but must admit that we harbored a bit of anticipation about the buildings as well. The buildings were developed and constructed with what was affordable without mortgages, rather than everything that was wanted, and luxuries like storm window protection were not in place, making the insides of the buildings more vulnerable to hurricane damage.

Not wanting to take any chances, all of the models and much of The Venus Project’s archive materials were packed up and moved to a concrete apartment building thirty minutes north on higher grounds. That arduous effort took three cars and several trips each. Then Roxanne, Joel and Nate drove north, along with millions of other Floridians. It was similar to Jacque asking people when they evacuate, “Where are you going?”. “I don’t know but I’m getting out of here”. There really is no comprehensive overall planning for situations like this, nor for when people return either.

Irma did end up passing right over Venus as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mile an hour sustained winds. Not only did the research center get hit with the eye of the storm, but a tornado also formed and touched down, which can be even more devastating.

Model Video Dome

Admiringly, the buildings came through it all unscathed. Jacque would have been pleased. Flooding did occur within the buildings, however, with some much higher than others. For the first time since its development, there was standing water in 8 of the 10 structures.

Model Machine

Photo showing many palm trees down and other debris in front of one of the buildings at The Venus Project.

Model Machine - Mid-flood Level

Notice the water level lines on the building itself.

Damage to the inside of the buildings was minimal because Jacque planned for such things by not using materials such as drywall, rugs, curtains, wood, and a minimal number of elements that could rust or rot. Most of the buildings are extremely strong due to their shape and there are no shingles or roofs to blow off. The materials that Jacque preferred were concrete and steel, epoxies, stainless steel, and ceramic tile floors, while much of the furniture are integral parts of the buildings. Five volunteers are using a lot of disinfectant, a wet vac, pressure cleaner, and lots of scrubbing and cleaning to help bring the center back to normal. In fact, even cleaner!

About 50% of the trees were destroyed, including both large oaks and palms, producing a tremendous amount of debris that many at The Venus Project helped to clear, along with a hired crew of 8 people working three days with heavy machinery. Even with all of that, the crew could only clear the trees that had fallen over the roadways, unable to deal with the dead palms that are still standing.

Bridge - after the storm

After the storm

Bridge - before the storm

Before the storm

Many people ask how The Venus Project plans to handle these types of catastrophes. Within a Resource Based Economy, there would be a division called Special Contingencies. This group would be fully equipped to act in case of any emergency or major disaster. They would be a large group of people and equipment that can be mobilized immediately, anywhere in the world, and without requiring permission from any authorities. They have all the necessary resources they need to accomplish any job they may be called upon to accomplish, whether it be to relocate very large groups of people to sufficient, safe, accommodations quickly, housing and feeding them immediately, or restoring an area after a devastating earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, etc.. No amount of resources would be held back due to monetary considerations or discrimination of any race, color or creed.

If the current system were The Venus Project/Resource Based Economy, some of the immediate steps for this situation/challenge would be solved as follows:

  1. All necessary supplies for the affected areas would be sent immediately.
  2. Transportation for people in the affected areas would be provided in order for them to be taken to secure/safe areas.
  3. Teams of medical staff and supplies would be delivered to the scene of the natural catastrophe.
  4. Food, clean water and clothes would be sent from the nearest countries quickly and efficiently (if borders did still exist) to prevent the distresses that can develop in just a couple of days if this is not provided in due time.
  5. Teams and equipment for clearing the area of the mounted crush materials and debris would also be provided.

These first steps would be taken immediately after the events with no questions asked about the costs of the supplies or the team’s availability.

Without the need for any monetary considerations in a Resource Based Economy, the rescue equipment used to mount such operations would also be much more capable of handling any situations they find.

The people would not be motivated by payments, but the human incentive and concern to help their fellow human beings avert as much suffering as possible. After all, they too could easily find themselves in the same situation.

The real problem is, we are not organizing Earth’s resources efficiently to minimize the effects of natural disasters. By “efficiently”, we mean to use the Methods of Science applied to how we operate society, with the primary aim being the well-being of people and the protection of the environment or social concern on a global scale. It also means basing our production on the carrying capacity of the Earth’s resources through the use of clean sources of energy, full recycling of used products, and making manufactured goods and services available to all without the need for money. Jacque Fresco arrived at this direction and called it a Resource Based Economy, aimed at maintaining sustainability through a balanced load economy. This method would also surpass the byproducts and man-made disasters of the monetary system such as climate change, war, poverty, homelessness, greed, and jealousy by meeting the needs of all people and producing abundance as quickly as possible.

“The real wealth of any nation lies in its developed and potential resources, the people who work toward the elimination of scarcity, and the creation of a more humane society.”
~Jacque Fresco, from The Best That Money Can’t Buy

Update: The Tour/Seminars at the Research Center will resume on October 14th. Find out more here.

Roxanne Meadows


  1. Considering what you folks down there went through, glad to hear you’re still around and doing what you can. Good to see that the Venus Project goes on. You make very good points in this article and maybe one day mankind will grow up enough to put into effect Jacques’ dream of a sane society using it’s resources in the right way.
    Thanks for the update and all the best.

  2. I’m happy to see/hear that the damage to the buildings was restricted, and none was done to the people :) Good luck with the cleanup!

    More people should definitely read up more about the Venus Project. There is way too little interest in a RBE.

  3. Dear Roxanne,

    You are one of my most admirable women. I know you see a better world and so do I. I really enjoyed Jacques’ mind. I have been hosting a radio show for about five years and I have always espoused the Venus Project. In fact I did a show on it in my early days. I wonder if you’d like to add it to your archives?

    That’s by-the-by though. I am writing to ask you to take a look at my work. I am not like Jacques but I am in a way. I don’t in any way meet his scientific caliber but I think you’ll like what I have designed. I realize you have an architectural background. I deal mainly with social systems. I consider myself a philosopher and writer though I haven’t written a book yet.

    What I am asking of you is to read the draft manifesto I wrote. It is being revised constantly. Even in a no-money world, we are still going to need social systems. I would surmise that about 50 to 90 percent of humanity tends to be “followers” not knowing which way to turn next – they will need some direction. The suggestions the Womens’ Council espouses are only signposts, however after the way we have been led by the nose, most people have not thought of these things – how we can get along socially in a harmonious way.

    If you would lend thirty minutes of your time to simply read the Constitution I wrote, I think you will find it most worthwhile. Basically, I believe we must no longer take the judgment of men as they are the ones who brought us to the brink we’re teetering on, almost single-handedly. However I understand men are just as valuable, we merely need to take out the domination part (without surgery!) and bring in a system that supports equality uppermost. The Womens’ Council makes suggestions for ways of living that are anchored in making sense and being in harmony with nature.

    Even if you don’t read the page, I still think you’re amazing. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your clarity and calmness of mind. I am working on bringing women together in small circles while also networking with each circle and together we engage in freeing the women all over the world. It is only in the early stages but I feel hopeful. There are many other intentions also and I hope you will give this reading a small piece of your time (I know you must be so busy, especially after Irma) I think you might have the insight and foresight to see what a beautiful document it is. Jacques would have liked it too I feel.

    Much love and support dear Roxanne. So glad you were alright after the storm and that the buildings licked it handsomely! I can’t wait to live in the new world world the way we have envisaged!


    ~ denise ward

    It is the same in both locations.

    On facebook:

  4. We need a way, or ways, to syncronize this available, and realizable path that is obviously a planetary ascending orientation and not descending and destructive, with how the human consciousness is actually operating within itself relating to the external self (or world).

  5. Hi Roxanne. I’m so glad you guys are alright and that the genius based structures of Jacque’s mind performed as expected. No surprise to me. I am also very happy that Lorraine and I got to meet Jacque before he passed. We long to live in a world as Jacque envisioned. I remain hopeful.

    With love

  6. nice reporting
    of what must be a large learning experience. considering that florida is really quite flat and many developements are close to sea level i’d think that stilts to raise buildings make sense. perhaps that would raise floor but in light of such storms also cost. Is this something that was considered during construction???

  7. When they send storm your way hold on. I wish you all success and hopefully soon in future we will be all able to live this dream idea of resorce based economy.

  8. Hi guys!, I am happy nothing substantial happened to your bunker sheds…..they are ready for the worst…….how about some flooding?……
    I will like to pay a visit to you, haven’t done to pay my respect to Jacques Passing.
    See you soon
    Johannes Perez

  9. I went to donate.. The link was tough to find.. And it said not tax deductible. I think you should be a 501-c-3..

  10. The point is Venus structures survived the worse, which is good. The next point is the rebuilding of the State of all who are affected by hurricanes yearly, and they continue to rebuild using the failed designs that were wiped out. Why waste the earth’s resources to be wiped out again next year? So I want to suggest, yes dome frames, and even ideas that keep your home from being flooded. Glad the Venus is still there. I would also suggest not planting Palms or trees nearby that can easily be blown over onto your structures. A type of Hedge Bush or Vine Plant to give the structure shade is better, to prevent possible damages.

  11. So glad that everyone is safe. Im also happy to see that the buildings proved to be built with the most adequate material and design type buildings to sustain such natural events that are more common nowadays.

  12. So glad you were able to save the models and archives and that the buildings held up to The Venus Project standards! But more importantly, that you all are safe! The greenery will grow back quickly, the trees just take time, but the new scenery will take on a new look and change is always welcome. Will plan to visit soon, looking forward to seeing everyone. We had NO DAMAGE to our home, while our community is badly damaged, many homes destroyed. We were blessed. You were always in our thoughts and prayers. Love you, Cathy and Michael.

  13. I am also VERY glad that The Venus Project is still “standing” and moving forward. I am new to The Resource Based Economy/Venus Project as described by Jacque Fresco, though I have been trying to figure something similar, on my own, for several years. I was THRILLED to no end to “accident” -ly come across the Venus Project web site !, … and to think he not only came up with a REAL do-able plan, but that he, with all of your help, has gotten this far already !

    I read that you were in the midst of trying to produce a movie(?) of some kind to try to reach more people about this great plan. While this is in the process, I had the idea that maybe if someone in the organization had the talent to create some kind of Smart-Phone “game” , that might attract A LOT of “Millenials” into the fold, and advance the cause faster. Just a thought. Hope to be of more help in the future.

    Les Payne

  14. I don’t know what I can offer, but I can visualise the success of this project in developed and neighbouring developing countries. I am concerned that countries like the country of my birth, Guyana, is stuck in a state of underdevelopment. In my view unnecessarily.
    Resources are many, but motivation and mobilisation of the people is significantly hampered by a declining population, (about four times as many Guyanese live in the UK, US, Canada and sprinkled around the world as live in Guyana) receiving remittances which, instead of being used for education or entrepreneurial sponsorship, is frittered away on designer this and designer that. I would love to be a volunteer for your extraordinarily noble concept, but where do I start? What can I do?

  15. Your buildings seem to be build level with the grade, on concrete slabs. This can be pretty strong, but the slightest flooding, including just plain runoff, will put water in your living room and kitchen pretty quickly. I think these building plans need some constructive criticism.

    The world definitely needs to get away from materials that are vulnerable to water, but I think that raising every part of the building a few inches above the grade is going to help a lot.

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