The Tsunami: A Time For New Architechture?

by Valis 17 Replies latest social current

  • heathen

    how about buildings designed like hover craft ? ehh just a thought there .

  • 72580

    No I have not seen it Winston. It is due for release on DVD next month. Check Amazon.

  • franklin J
    franklin J

    In all seriousnes, Valis, this is an interesting post.

    I am an architect. There has been a new "internationsl" building code instituted throughout the USA. The structural requirements have been toughened up.

    Places like Florida always had stricter construction requirements to prevent hurricane damage; California had very specific earthquake requirements.

    The new building codes have now made EVERY region in the country follow the same construciton techniques.

    While I do not know of any specific requirements for 100 year tsunami floods; you cannot build a house anywhere ( under this new international code) within 100 feet of a water line.

    BTTT, Architecture specifically designed to withstand the impact of a 40 foot wave would be interesting. Remember, in 9/11, the World Trade Towers were designed to withstand the impact of a jumbo jet; and they did. It was the intense fire and heat which brought them down. If the steel of the towers had been insulated with terra cotta block ( as many of the older skyscapers are) they could have withstood the heat longer to allow people to escape.

    Architecture has many facets. Structure is far more interesting and creative than we might suspect.


  • frenchbabyface
    FJ : Structure is far more interesting and creative than we might suspect.

    SURE !!! ...

  • Winston Smith :>D
    Winston Smith :>D

    you cannot build a house anywhere ( under this new international code) within 100 feet of a water line.


    Hi Franklin,

    Is this for a residential home, or is this a commercial multi-family structure?

    WI has adopted portions of the IBC and relevant mechanical international codes [plumbing, etc..] for the commercial WI building code, but has not adopted the IBC in it's entirety.

    For the residential building code in WI [UDC, Uniform Dwelling Code], there are minor influences of the International Code [I think pertaining to firewalls, etc..], but the majority of the UDC in WI is not pertinent to the International Code. There was a recent revision in November '04, but still no IBC AFAIK. [just checked site]. We were under BOCA either.

    I ask about the 100' because a 100' rule to any water line, I would imagine, is causing a stir for clients who own property on small water frontage lots. Many of the existing homes must be closer than 100'? What happens when they want to remodel? When the lot is substandard or is irregular in shape?

    In WI we have a statewide 75'-0" minimum for residential construction. That is being dropped to 35'-0" in the future for some areas because of the remodeling being done on lakes. Rich clientele [typically out of town or state] make up a big tax base in these smaller communities and have a large voice.

    The concern I have with building too close on the ocean [or other bodies of water] is relevant to erosion, flooding and who will insure and then pay for a structure after it is overtaken by the ocean or from erosion? Is it a taxpayer's responsibility? Insurance companies? Is "the more responsible thing" to build farther off of bodies of water to avoid flooding and erosion problems? People buy property in these areas to be "on the ocean" and have a view. Should we no longer allow for the remodeling of existing structures that are substandard in construction and setbacks and force these structures to meet the new construction guidelines?

    You're such a sqaure!


    That's cute.

    I guess I am an architecture nerd. Nothing can be as exciting, other than fast, well-built cars.
    I agree with Franklin that structure can be exciting [typically engineering is looked on as boring compared to the flashy aspects of architecture].
    Good architecture affects everyone's lives far more than they realize. Whether it's a poorly planned subdivision, a well lit school or office, or even furniture.
    Sit all day in a $50 Office Depot chair and then sit in a Aeron Chair from Herman Miller. Your ass will thank you, and you will be more productive in an Aeron chair.

    Hi 72580,
    I'll keep my eyes on blockbuster for it. If it doesn't come out there, I'll check out Amazon.

  • mkr32208

    I love domes I tried for years to convince the wife to build one... no go to ugly...

    On an aside I'm sure that any of the people who lived in these countries and died in this tragic tsunami would have been more than glad to trade their tar paper and shit houses for a $50k dome... Why does no one care about the horror of these people's lives until they are dead?

  • Jim_TX

    "On an aside I'm sure that any of the people who lived in these countries and died in this tragic tsunami would have been more than glad to trade their tar paper and shit houses for a $50k dome... Why does no one care about the horror of these people's lives until they are dead?"

    Well... there _is_ a cheaper alternative to the monolithic dome (which is insulated with polyurethane foam)... and it works well in countries near the equater where no insulation is needed. It is called an ECO-Shell. It is a dome - made with concrete and rebar - and is very popular in countries like India where they can make them using inexpensive techniques.

    If you look on the monolithic site - you will discover several articles describing the Eco-Shells, and their benefits - and the countries where they are helping to get them built.

    These countries that have been hit by the tsunami would be a perfect candidate for an eco-shell type structure. Low-cost and strong. Bookmark the Monolithic web site. It wouldn't surprise me to see an article about some non-profit group headed that way to start building eco-shells in this devasted area.

    Monolithic domes are just slower to be accepted - because they look 'different'. In Italy, Texas - they have built the local school gymnasium as a dome structure. It is also the areas' tornado shelter. As many know, Texas is known for tornadoes - especially north Texas. When there are tornado alerts - the sirens sound - and folks head to the school gymnasium for protection.

    Another type of dome... - is more aesthetic looking... the doors and windows look like they are part of the structures - rather than an after thought, like on the monolithic domes. They are still structurally sound - if built properly.

    I am currently leaning towards these domes... for several reasons... cost - and since I am solo - I will need to be able to put up the structure by myself. I can handle these by myself.


    Jim TX

  • belbab

    In years past, when Bangladesh gets severely flooded, thousands of people who live in the delta lose there bamboo make shift homes and their lives. With this tsunami, Bangladesh got lucky, very few casualties I believe, because of some wave pattern.

    At the time I thought of a solution. Not just there, but wherever there is danger of flooding. in low lying areas

    Here on the west coast and probably elsewhere also. Concrete barges and floats are built. Not for flood protection but to transport goods or for floating camps etc.

    If a buildings foundation was built like a concrete barge, when a flood comes it would rise with the waters. It would be anchored in place by pilings sunk into the substratum.

    I think the best protection is an early warning system. I was looking up tsunami warning systems on the internet. The Pacific Rim countries have an extensive system, because the ring of fire of volcanic activity. This system was never continued into the Indian Ocean because they thought the ring of fire did not extend there. The recent earthquake was at the end of the ring of fire. Also poorer nations surround the Indian ocean. If some of the billions of dollars now spent in aid to those nations were used to set up to make a world wide system of warning, many lives would have been preserved. That is what the UN,(aka called the wild beast by some who believe that a great tsunami of fire will do a far greater job of messing up the whole earth).

    One town on the west coast, Port Alberni, situated at the end of an inlet exposed to the open Pacific had extensive damage when a earthquake in Alaska caused a tsunami, in 1964, I believe. They now have a loudspeaker system in low lying areas that serve as a warning alarm. The fire department test it once a day.

    I was also looking up the speed of tsunami, the waves travel at some 300-500 miles per hour.

    But seismic waves from earthquakes travel through the earth a far far greater speeds. (I can't find my notes, now, but I will repost the info.) Sri Lanka had a two hour time if a warning had been issued. The seismic waves would have reached Sri Lanka almost instantly.

    Sumatra which was much closer to the earthquake center, hundred miles or so. So there would have been about a twenty minute time period to escape.

    I will look up the websites again and repost some information.

    belbab, who doesn't believe Old One plays games with peoples lives, especially the young ones and the elderly. Nature has dealt all of us quite a blow, it does not have to happen the next time.

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