Posted November 13, 2023

RENCO USA to Build LEGO-Like Buildings in Florida

Innovative building system stacks like real-life LEGO blocks launches first development in Palm Beach County.

As ever-stronger hurricanes threaten Florida and property insurance rates skyrocket, the mission is on to find stronger, more resilient ways to build that can withstand intensifying storms and devastating winds.

Elected officials and city leaders celebrated a breakthrough in construction technology on Monday, Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. by cutting the ribbon on the first RENCO USA housing complex in the US—four buildings with a total of 96 apartments—located in Palm Beach County at 4280 Lakewood Road in Palm Springs, FL.

“As a longtime resident, I’ve witnessed the relentless fury of hurricanes and seen families’ homes shattered by nature’s wrath. It’s a stark reminder of our vulnerability. Yet, here in Florida, we find hope through innovation,” said Congresswoman Lois Frankel. “Together, we can be architects of change and forge a future where families can weather any storm.”

RENCO is a new way to build that is 23 times stronger than concrete, less expensive, and finished in a fraction of the time. Molded blocks that interlock like LEGO bricks create entire structures. RENCO, short for renewable composite, weaves together recycled glass fibers, recycled plastic, resin, and stone into a powerful new material that’s rated to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

“Storms not only jeopardize our homes, but we're also enduring the year-round burden of historically elevated property insurance rates. 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,” Palm Springs Mayor Bev Smith said.

With the rise of devastating storms, 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 now four times the national average.

RENCO is easier to insure because:

  • It has a longer lifespan than typical construction
  • It’s rated to be hurricane and earthquake resistant
  • It’s resistant to fire, water, mold, and pests

RENCO makes building housing more affordable because:

  • It uses recycled materials
  • It follows color-coded plans like a LEGO set, so there is no construction waste
  • Labor costs are reduced, since builders don’t need specialized workers like carpenters and masons to assemble it

“Together, we hold the power to tackle Florida's home insurance crisis head-on,” said former Congressman Patrick E. Murphy, who is helping to lead RENCO’s expansion. “To bring insurance costs down, we must not only build stronger homes, but we must also lower the cost of construction.”

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.

RENCO USA Co-Founder Tom Murphy, Jr. 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 new Aston Martin Residences to the Four Seasons Surf Club—but for Murphy, RENCO means much more.

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


Florida-based RENCO USA manufactures and distributes a fully patented structural building system made from renewable composites. Its state-of-the-art building system is composed of interlocking composite pieces that are all adhesively joined into a monolithic structure.

It includes the entire structure of a building, from the walls (structural building blocks), to the floor joists (pultruded), to the floor (composite decking) to the composite roof trusses and sheathing. Simply put, it’s an alternative way to build—utilizing proven, new materials that are more sustainable, affordable and easier to install.

RENCO’s patented building system, blocks, joists, decking and adhesives have been evaluated in ANSI certified laboratories for structural performance, physical characteristics and fire resistance. After thorough evaluation, IAPMO approved RENCO’s Evaluation Criteria and issued its Evaluation Report to permit the use of the RENCO building system under the International Building Code, including High Velocity Hurricane Zones.

RENCO’s building system is currently approved for structures up to five stories; expanded approvals for taller structures are pending. RENCO is currently completing seismic testing for earthquake zones and is fully confident that it will obtain approval to build in all seismic design categories.