LaHouse - Special Hurricane Resistance Features

Sandra Scallan, Skinner, Patricia  |  8/6/2007 8:33:33 AM

Safe Room

The master bedroom closet serves as a safe room, designed to resist 150-mph wind. It is structurally isolated from rest of house. Every stud is securely fastened with hurricane straps at top and bottom. Wall and roof are clad with two layers of ¾-inch plywood installed in a staggered fashion, glued and nailed. Steel impact pocket door protects the main opening; steel in-swing door protects opening to water heater. Wood paneling (not drywall) is used for interior finish. The closet is a modified safe room, not FEMA-standard.
Dry Floodproofing – Floodwall

Dry floodproofing is a code-compliant alternative to elevation for nonresidential buildings only. Sealants and closures must extend 1 foot above the level that would be required if elevating for the same level of protection.

ICF has a watertight installation method that was not used for LaHouse. Instead, a waterproof coating will be used as part of the synthetic stucco to ensure adequate sealing of the walls. The exposed slab will be coated with waterproofing compound. A watertight panel closure will protect the door to the breezeway. On the driveway side, a floodwall will extend out from the building and across to the driveway. During floods, the driveway opening will be blocked with removable panels. The system will require use of a sump pump.

Breezeway Roof

A very low-pitched roof acts like an airplane wing in high winds. Because the breezeway roof at LaHouse will experience high uplift forces, the front and rear beams are heavily reinforced and firmly anchored to the walls on each end. Anchoring in the SIPS wall required a pocket and steel plate. Rafters that run along the ICF and SIPS walls have strong ties into those walls.

Porch Protection and Closets

An Armor Screen® system with an overhead track and anchor bolts in the porch will protect the windows and doors that open onto the porch. Windows and doors opening onto the back porch will be protected by hurricane shutters or panels. Front and back porches have closets that can be used for easy storage of porch furniture when high winds are forecast.

Other features

The ground slopes away from the house to prevent water soaking through the foundation or creating a condition of constantly high humidity on walls.

Sewer lines have backflow valves to reduce the potential for the flooded sewer system to back up into the house.

All electrical wiring, plumbing outlets, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment and other mechanicals are at the same level of protection from flood as the main structure. Parts of elevated systems that must extend below BFE are designed to prevent entry of floodwater.
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