Saturday, June 11, 2005

An M.I.T. design team has come up with a tsunami resistant house

Great, I'm not as smart as a janitor from M.I.T., but I think I see a flaw or two in the design description. I'm from the gulf coast of Texas, so I take into consideration what happens before, during and after a tidale surge.

Lets start with the design description:

The "Tsunami Safe(r) Houses," which will be built for about $1,200 each using materials available locally in Sri Lanka, will have four core columns made of concrete and rebar, each about 3 meters wide. Between these columns, homeowners can build walls of wood or bamboo to individualize the homes. Engineering simulations indicate that the design will help the core and foundation of the homes to withstand water or wind force over five times greater than a traditional concrete-block Sri Lankan home.
Ok, to me a "column" is a solid shape (square, rectangle, etc). Does that mean that my house will be built with 24 (9'x9'x8'/27)cubic yards of concrete on each corner?
That's ALOT of concrete. It would also take up alot of room. Or the writer could NOT know what he's talking about, and ment poured 'crete walls.

Also, isn't that alot of weight to put on:
The homes will be built atop concrete blocks or wood 1 or 2 feet above ground so that high waters can flow underneath, making them more storm resistant.
We put our houses on pilings about 10' into the ground, and attached to the house- you know to keep it from floating, or blowing away AND we raised them anywhere from 2' to 8' so we could use it for parking, storage or work areas.

Next problem I have is my basic concept of a house. The house is supposed to protect you and your belongings. Here is what this house is designed to do:

The team recently produced an architectural model for a Sri Lankan house that essentially would allow a powerful ocean wave to go through the house, instead of knocking it flat.
See anything at odds between my idea of a house and M.I.Ts?

We're not as smart (living in hurricane threatened areas, and all) - historically as those designers, our houses are built with a "hurricane room" if it was necessary, and we'd rebuild what was left. We'd restock the house from what was blown into our yard, and the downwind neighbors would restock with our stuff- recycling.

No comments:

Post a Comment