2012 was a costly year for the United States in terms of weather-related damage, ringing up a $110 billion bill and tragically ending 377 lives.

The Atlantic Cities' John Metcalfe breaks down the year's disasters and their costly effects—11 causing $1 billion or more each in damage.

Should extreme weather events and natural disasters motivate us to build differently? Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, would say yes.

The United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan—who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force—launched REBUILD BY DESIGN yesterday. The design competition will attract world class talent, innovation, develop, and fund projects that will actually be built.

BUILDER Pulse has given suggestions for building in wildfire-prone areas, but what about other weather disasters? Below are some of the more innovative ways we are beginning to design and build for the elements.

Impact-resistant design can make homes more resilient in hurricanes and tornadoes, adding more protection from wind and debris. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

ForeverHome says their prototype home can resist 200-mile-per-hour winds—and look awesome while doing it.

What about extreme temperatures? Scientists are working on window treatments and painted walls that can store and release heat according to the temperature. That's right, walls that can tell how hot it is...and adjust accordingly.

The Hot House is designed to serve as a comfortable black box that can literally be built on the side of a snow-covered mountain. Using a plethora of warmth-retention building and design techniques, this vacation home design will keep you comfortable no matter what is going on outside.

Know of some cool examples of weather-proof design? Shoot them over to me on Twitter or share in the comments. We'd love to hear from ya!

Andrew Knight is a content producer at Hanley Wood. Tweet at @AndrewKnight_HW