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Affordable hurricane-resistant housing, can we do it?

  1. Sep 9, 2017 #1
    My first thought on this is how to avoid standing water damage. After massive flooding in this area in '08 houses were jacked up about eight feet. (Based, I think, on the "100 year" flood model and the catch-basin effect of water crossing over the railroad right-of-way.) Would Cat 5 winds cause a stilted house to blow away more easily, all else being equal?
     
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  3. Sep 9, 2017 #2
    Its not a clean cut answer, there is so much information that has to be considered: Height of the structure; topography of the land; Soil composition; Foundation depth and type. After studying Construction for 3 years I would argue that if we change our approach to housing design and integrate structures into natural features rather than plowing everything flat, we could make it affordable and more durable in the future. I believe that we will start seeing more aerodynamic structures which have greatly reduced wind forces Soon . It will be like the automative industry. There is a nice PDF on the topic if you want to have a look.
     
  4. Sep 9, 2017 #3
    Thanks. I was already thinking about "Bag End" (Frodo's house) as a candidate. Built into the side of a hill it would be quite rugged. Steel shutters that would fill in the gaps in the ground contours where the windows are would be needed.
     
  5. Sep 9, 2017 #4
    It is a great idea with the main things to consider being the soil composition and drainage. There was an instance were due to the house sinking it actually shifted and started looking like it was getting engulfed by the ground. Here is a design that is a middle ground and I personally love it!
     
  6. Sep 9, 2017 #5

    Dr Transport

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  7. Sep 9, 2017 #6
    That wind tunnel would make me nervous.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2017 #6

    jim hardy

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    probably the closer it approximates an egg the more hurricane resistant

    fifty years ago they experimented with gunite buildings in the Florida Keys that resembled turtle shells. . They're still standing, seems a natural enough design to copy.
     
  9. Sep 9, 2017 #7

    anorlunda

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    Hills in southern Florida are scarce.

    New houses in the Keys require 15 foot (5 m) pilings to lift them off the ground. But FEMA won't guarantee that they won't raise the minimum higher next year and they won't grandfather the 15 foot ones. Tsk tsk.
     
  10. Sep 9, 2017 #8
    Sounds like a case of "caveat emptor" vs. "Hey FEMA, cover my bad decisions"
     
  11. Sep 13, 2017 at 10:57 AM #9
    15 feet seems ample for storm surge. But adding wave action on top of that may be borderline.

    The key would seem to be to create a house shape that is either lift neutral or negative lift, as well as being low drag. Worse it has to be this for all directions. I have a mental image of a circular airfoil with a thickness diameter of 10 to 1 or so. Big house.

    In building such a house, I think I'd want to use 35 foot poles with 12 feet underground, and the poles fastened into the entire house structure.
     
  12. Sep 13, 2017 at 1:48 PM #10
    What about having the house rise with the waters? Piling go through the house and are tied together at the top to stop any further rise. Hexagonal pattern of pilings, all outside the house proper.
     
  13. Sep 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM #11

    anorlunda

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    By the way, a TV report on hurricane Irma pointed at neighborhoods of newer homes across the bay on Marco Island. They were built with the new standards adopted after hurricane Andrew. The reporter said that they all appeared to come though with no damage.
     
  14. Sep 14, 2017 at 4:28 PM #12

    tech99

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    It is better not to build cities in places prone to the violence of Nature. Otherwise we have self inflicted disasters and no one wants to see that happen.
     
  15. Sep 14, 2017 at 4:45 PM #13

    I like Serena

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    Flooding occurs because the water has nowhere to go.
    River forelands around rivers are the classical way to tackle flooding.
    They are designed to take in excess water.
    Tokyo has gone beyond. They have built water discharge tunnels, which were completed in 2006.
     
  16. Sep 14, 2017 at 6:40 PM #14

    anorlunda

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    That's easier said than done. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanic activities, blizzards, ice storms, sea level rise, heat waves, sand storms, landslides, sink holes, avalanches, locusts. That rules out most of North America. I once lived in Sweden. Almost none of those things happen there. I wonder if they can fit an additional 7 billion people? :rolleyes:
     
  17. Sep 15, 2017 at 7:00 AM #15
    Even impact windows and doors can help you in this.
     
  18. Sep 15, 2017 at 10:52 AM #16
    Yeah, 1/4" Plexiglas panels, removable, would help. Cover at least two sides with those. A foam insulation that is also watertight/waterproof could be used during construction.

    I think one of the best ideas I've heard is to build the house over the garage. That gives you ~eight feet of height right off the bat. "Get your basement out of the ground!" You could make a section of that garage watertight and accessible from the house above, for a tornado shelter. In some places having the kitchen on the ground floor would reduce the heat in the house proper as well.
     
  19. Sep 15, 2017 at 10:57 AM #17

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    Don't forget the Caldera (supervolcano) under Yellowstone park that is supposed to erupt like clockwork, which is already about 50000 years overdue if I'm not mistaken, and which would effectively wipe the US off the map. And the mega tsunami that would occur if part of an island would fall into the Atlantic, wiping the east coast off the map, including New York. Yep, Sweden does sound like a better choice. :oldwink:
     
  20. Sep 15, 2017 at 11:10 AM #18
    The Yellowstone monster seems to grow in size and danger every year.
     
  21. Sep 15, 2017 at 6:31 PM #19

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    Yep. Still, the probability is less than about 1 in 10000 that it will happen within a year or so... which is generally considered to be negligible... but it is bound to happen sometime...

    Additionally, we have the island La Palma in the Canary islands, that is known to be volcanic. As such there is a risk that part of the island falls into the ocean. When and if that happens, it will generate a megatsunami that will hit the US... and it doesn't seem likely that the people in New York will be able to evacuate in a timely fashion...
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017 at 7:01 PM
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