Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane

 
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:43 PM   #41
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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Originally Posted by ApgarNJ View Post
mike, i read what you wrote.

but building in an area that might get an earthquake or might not, is way different than knowingly building below the ocean and tempting fate in the hands of some pumps and walls to keep out the ocean.

i know what you are saying but it's not the same. people along the coast line are ABOVE sea level. they might be at risk but a lower one.
That's fine. My point is that there isn't really any difference.

They also aren't going to move New Orleans any time soon, and New Orleans is actaully small potatos if measured in acres compared to all the land along both sides of the Mississippi that is protected by levies in this country.

This isn't 1803 on the eve of the Lousiana Purchase. Buildable land becomes more and more scarce every year.

As buildersI thought it was the nature of the beast to solve problems, adapt and create solutions to the ever evolving challenges facing us.

And I keep saying it - has anybody actually seen any plans for this? Unless I'm missing it, it seems everybody is judging the design without even seeing it. I'd like to see the design.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:51 PM   #42
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


I'd like to see it too. i like problem solving but problem solving an entire city is not for the masses. it's not feasible for everyone to own a house like this when so many conventional houses have already been rebuilt down there. they need to focus on the levies and making sure a katrina can't happen again.

you still couldn't pay me to live there.

people who live along the river know the risks too. i still think a cat 5 hurricane is more damaging then what happens when a river floods and you don't get that storm surge. i know you think they are the same thing but there are some key differences. which is why i live way up on a plateau, river is a mile or two from my house but I won't ever get flooded.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:32 PM   #43
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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I don't think they float away. i think they are designed to rise up and back down again with water. there aren't enough details on that site to really show how that house is built.
My thought as well. If it's designed to float up and back down, it must work on a principal similar to a floating dock. Poles are set in the mud and the dock glides up and down on rings around the poles.

With this design, the structure is trapped within the poles and unless the water rises higher than the poles, it will float back down unharmed.

Unless, debris somehow gets lodged around one of the poles and prevents the house from settling evenly. I've seen many docks damaged in this manner, with high water, but nowhere near flood level.

This method still does nothing in the way of preventing floating debris from battering the structure.

In addition, any wave action will work the structure with forces far greater than a house that sways slightly on pilings.

The point made earlier about the infrastructure being destroyed echoes my earlier post. Why would you want a house to survive a storm, when the entire city around it is in ruins?

I also find it hard to believe that there is not any more desireable land left to build on that could encompass several hundred New Orleans', with much less risk than building in a bowl.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:01 PM   #44
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


A cute concept and good PR, but not practical for the relatively slow rising water level that NO and MS went through. This is based on 700-1000 loss verification inspections in NO and MS.

If those cute homes were along the coast where there was really flooding, they would have been several miles inland or out to sea when the surge and debris dragged them out.

Everyone knew that NO was a disaster destined to happen by allowing housing to be built where it should not have been for votes and the political system and the levee commission that loves to try to out-fox the Corps of Engineers. I inspected a home that had a 30" space between the slab (piled foundation) and the soil. The boy in the family thought it was great because he had an extra 1' over the previous 18"' to crawl in and pull wires for electric and cable. - No flood damage to the home lining area.

The coasts were totally leveled except for some outstanding examples that are being mirrored by new designs and concepts, but they had 28' of water coming in and as much retreating plus debris that really made a mess. I inspected a loss at home in parish that no real flooding initially until water was pumped from an adjacent parish (2' rise in water) to make sure every area got disaster funds. It is ironic that the home owner manned the pumps that flooded his own home with 6" of water inside, so he got new floors, carpeting, insulation, 4' of dry wall, and paint.

In another situation, a 75 year old owner got $145,000 from insurance (too low for from the photos presented) for a 2 two story home on the water that was gone, but had 2 fire places, 2 kitchens, a deck and 12 sliding doors. She felt sorry for her neighbor that had a concrete masonry home that survived and did not get as much money because it survived. She decided not to re-build, but thought the hurricane and surge got rid of the other lightweight junk construction, so she put her 2 -100' lots up for sale for $1,900,000, which was more than she could have gotten before the hurricane.

The situations were very educational and over came the problems of trying to find a place to buy a meal other than from a camper along the road. Fortunately, Near NO, I found a disaster assistance/recovery center (military base) where I could always get a free meal and a couple of box lunches for the day. A great 5 months even including 30 days straight at 12 hours per day of learning, driving, getting lost, getting stuck and meeting great people.

Hopefully, time will cure the errors of the past 50 years of historic bad government administration.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:14 PM   #45
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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Originally Posted by loneframer View Post
My thought as well. If it's designed to float up and back down, it must work on a principal similar to a floating dock. Poles are set in the mud and the dock glides up and down on rings around the poles..
Here's a short film of the whole concept and design:
+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


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Originally Posted by loneframer View Post

This method still does nothing in the way of preventing floating debris from battering the structure.

In addition, any wave action will work the structure with forces far greater than a house that sways slightly on pilings..
Gotta agree here since the tops of the pilings will only be
"floating" inside the framing once the house is elevated.
Since there doesn't seem to be any any lateral support at
this point,any sway in the pilings could rip the structure apart.
Also:
Anchoring requirements for wind uplift could not be met.
There's not much detail available online,but I can't see how this
issue would be addressed.
Bottom line is it's still not code compliant and isn't recognized
by the Ins.Co's as a alternative to building above flood level.

For the OP:
Yes,just another engineers wet dream.

As found on this report:
http://text.lsuagcenter.com/en/famil...zard+Areas.htm


Widespread media coverage of student work at LSU may have created unrealistic expectations for many people who yearn to return, restore and rebuild in south Louisiana. This buoyant foundation technique, however attractive, is not a legal alternative to meeting elevation requirements in the flood damage prevention ordinance and in the International Building Code. Additional study and experimentation with buoyant foundations, such as that going on at LSU and in other academic settings, may lead some day to an acceptance of these foundations and a recognition of buoyant foundations as code-compliant construction. At this time -- and for the foreseeable future -- buoyant foundations do not meet the minimum code requirements for construction in flood hazard areas. Whether a buoyant foundation would meet the minimum code requirements for building outside the special flood hazard area has not been determined.

Last edited by Tinstaafl; 01-02-2011 at 07:37 PM. Reason: Fix youtube link
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:38 PM   #46
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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Originally Posted by loneframer View Post
I built homes on pilings for 20 years, along the NJ coast.

Why build a floating house, when building it above flood elevation already has such good results?

Floating debris is a real danger in a flood situation. Allowing it to float by, under the house, not into it, makes better sense, IMO.
That would be far to easy and practical. Don't you know that there would not be enough revenue generated by the massive amount of permitting and inspections to use regular pilings.

To make your idea work the pilings would need to be installed in a way that addresses the growing budget problems in an ecological manner. So we would have to make them from bamboo imported from China, since they would rot they need to have a corn based insect and decay retarder applied a licensed applicator regulated by a new federal agency. F.A.R.T.S. (Federal Additional Regulations for Timber Structures). This agency would report to B.E.A.N.S. (Burro Enforcing Additional Non Sense )

Then there would be the piling tax. The Annual piling inspections. The piling assistance program where everyone who can afford pilings has a social obligations to the people who decided to buy beer instead.

Did I forget about the engineering for each property complete with geo survey and environmental impact review of putting a stick in the mud. These need to be reviewed by C.R.A.P. (Committee Reviewing Additional Programs)

So you see while this may seem to be a simple solution, whenever you combine B.E.A.N.S and F.A.R.T.S. together you are going to have to deal with C.R.A.P.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #47
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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Old 01-02-2011, 08:01 PM   #48
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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That would be far to easy and practical. Don't you know that there would not be enough revenue generated by the massive amount of permitting and inspections to use regular pilings.

To make your idea work the pilings would need to be installed in a way that addresses the growing budget problems in an ecological manner. So we would have to make them from bamboo imported from China, since they would rot they need to have a corn based insect and decay retarder applied a licensed applicator regulated by a new federal agency. F.A.R.T.S. (Federal Additional Regulations for Timber Structures). This agency would report to B.E.A.N.S. (Burro Enforcing Additional Non Sense )

Then there would be the piling tax. The Annual piling inspections. The piling assistance program where everyone who can afford pilings has a social obligations to the people who decided to buy beer instead.

Did I forget about the engineering for each property complete with geo survey and environmental impact review of putting a stick in the mud. These need to be reviewed by C.R.A.P. (Committee Reviewing Additional Programs)

So you see while this may seem to be a simple solution, whenever you combine B.E.A.N.S and F.A.R.T.S. together you are going to have to deal with C.R.A.P.
That's funny, but reminds me of a true story regarding driving pilings.

After 9/11, the city I worked in enforced an ordinance requiring the piling companies to pay a security officer to watch the fire hydrant while it was opened for jetting in the pilings, to insure that there was no tampering with the cities water supply.

This prompted those companies to invest in new machinery to circumvent the practice of water jetting to start the pilings. The new method employed the use of an auger to start the holes.

If I'm not mistaken, the city was charging a nice fee for the hydrant permit, as well as the security officer fee. They also lost a ton of revenue from merchantile licenses for sub-contractors when the state enacted the HIC registration, making the merchantile license obsolete. I'm sure that all that lost revenue was made up for in other permit fees and such, until construction came to all but a complete standstill.

Oh, well, I guess everyones property taxes doubled to make up the difference.

All that said, those houses on poles are all still standing, in spite of those Nor' Easters that wash out the beaches every year.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:57 PM   #49
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


I agree that one should never build below water level but if i were to build in a flood zone then i would design the home basically as a house boat. I would attach it to piers with screws/worm drive to lift the home as the water rose. The electric can be an overhead service so it would be flexible with movement and one could probably rig up the bottom as a tank for waste water. A stand by generator could operate the piers and even keep power if the grid went down. Would this work, who knows?
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:22 PM   #50
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


A hurricane is almost as tough as designing a home resistant to a tornado that has much more severe conditions and no advance evacuation notice.

What do you do with a 28' storm surge? - 28+ high screws and a generator on an elevated enclosed hurricane proof shelter? there are some things that you cannot plan for in a category 4 hurricane.

All along the MS coast, the stilt homes were gone because the timber snapped at the magical and consistent 6' height, the steel piling either bent or were pulled out of the sand and the concrete piles were left tilted for lack of lateral soil resistance and the few homes that survived or were repaired early had deep, spread footings. Slab homes were either washed inland or out to sea the clutter the Gulf when the surge retreated with the debris. On one home, the only problem was the water tower that fell across the road and caused access problems to to the house. The structures with concrete or reinforced rectangular block piers on deep spread footings and blow-out panels did well, but the house above was gone.

You can design and build for disasters but it is a balance between cost, materials methods and and and possibilities. If you skimp, you lose in the end. After Katrina, I saw bird feeders hanging on a post near where a 2 story home was washed away along with a car that was not found (some where between the Gulf and Lake Pontchartrain).
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:14 AM   #51
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


we built this 2000sf floating home.
The floating concrete foundation is 22x45x5
It floats like a cork but I don't think it would do well in anything over 5' seas.


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Old 01-03-2011, 05:20 AM   #52
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


nice pics. i see the poles in the front that can ride up and down, what happens if it's higher than that, and what about the other side where I don't see any poles. does it need them on all 4 corners or just the front?

Do all these houses have a huge septic holding tank that has to be pumped out all the time. I'm trying to see how the original house on this thread would address being hooked to city sewer or to a septic system if it were in a more rural setting.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:33 AM   #53
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


The house has two ring/hooks that are connected to those poles. That would keep the house from rotating/spinning.
The funny part is the same photo where the mailbox is facing. Looks like the mailman makes his rounds in an outboard.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:48 AM   #54
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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The house has two ring/hooks that are connected to those poles. That would keep the house from rotating/spinning.
The funny part is the same photo where the mailbox is facing. Looks like the mailman makes his rounds in an outboard.
In 100+ miles an hour winds, I think the lateral pressure against those pilings would either cause them to snap, or at the very least, bind and prevent the house from rising properly. I've seen that happen with floating docks, with very similar design.

Over time, the rings will wear on the poles, creating a "notch" in the pole from normal tidal changes. When the high water comes, the ring will catch in the notch and the structure will upend, or pull the pole up along with it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:50 AM   #55
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


maybe some kind of pole lube would be nice
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:19 AM   #56
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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All along the MS coast, the stilt homes were gone because the timber snapped at the magical and consistent 6' height.
Can you elaborate on this a little?

How many pilings were used? On average, a 1200-1500 sq.ft. footprint would have 35 poles under it in my area, generally about 8' spacing on the building sides and 6' down the center.

Did the storm surge bring water above the tops of the pilings and into the home? In order to snap all the poles at 6', an enormous level of shear must have been achieved. I can only surmise that it would have to be due to the surge pushing against the building itself and not just the poles, unless other structures/debris collected against the building/pilings as the water subsided.

I can't imagine that wind alone would cause this phenomenon, unless the piling plan was severely under engineered.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:29 AM   #57
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


My idea most likely would not work on the coast but inland where floods are still common due to swollen rivers this house may work fine.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:30 PM   #58
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


Tom, so you have your pods sitting on foam blocks with greased poles?
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:29 PM   #59
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


lone framer -

The storm surge was 28' at the coast and over the top of the house. If it somehow survived the inward surge, the return back flow with debris was more damaging and sometimes faster. The real damage along the coast was the 28' surge and the wind was a minot factor there, but important further inland even though it was reduced the land and tree friction.

I realy don't understand it, but even the wood telephone poles snapped at about the same height. We used the tags to help locate the where the homes were. Anything wood framed was gone along the MS coast and there really is not much along the LA coast except fishing shacks. The only foundation systems that survived were the totally reinforced concrete or reinforced concrete block homes, but the wood roof systems were gone. The steel piling/stilts looked like spaghetti. The other system that surprisingly worked well was a deep spread footing with 8" wide by 4' long block piers piers (blow out block wall panels perpendicular to the gulf) that enclosed garages, utility rooms, extra bathroom and den/rec rooms. Some of the wood fram one top also survived probably because of anchorage to the elevated concrete slab. Quite a few of these were being built since it was anticipated the elevation hor livable area required for housing would required something to get it up.

Interesting experience!
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:43 PM   #60
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Re: Floating House, House Floats Up During Hurricane


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Tom, so you have your pods sitting on foam blocks with greased poles?

i do Dan,but i learned they are way easier to greese from the top down

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