Huff and Puff and blow your house down   Leave a comment

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Huff and Puff and blow your house down

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Just 100 mph winds snaps this roof off a standard code house in this test chamber.  DKA is designing a new fortified home along the Jersey Shore using inexpensive techniques that exceed the new building codes.   These techniques were used on the house on the right and building envelope stays intact under test.   Click on the picture to watch a video of the test.

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Simple design changes which add only 1% to the cost of materials for a new home or office can make all the difference in the world during a storm.    Some of the changes will be code required, but some of the changes must be requested by the Architect during the design process; these include high-wind rated shingles, high-wind rated siding, exterior doors that don’t blow in under high winds, 5/8” thick roof sheathing, and ring shank nails which have better holding power.  The insurance industry is the largest consumer of roof shingles and following these practices can reduce losses and claims.  If you lose your roof during a storm, it doesn’t much matter whether the rest of the structure remains, the contents and structure will be ruined anyway.

Stephen Malyszka of Dennis Kowal Architects completed a seven hour training day on redesigning safely for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Seismic activity.  Hurricane Sandy which affected 11 states and will be known as the second largest weather event to ever affect the United States has caused everyone to focus on better design practices when rebuilding.    Stephen is currently designing a home in Belmar, New Jersey, just two blocks from the coastline and at the center of the land fall during Hurricane Sandy.   Belmar lost all but 20 reusable feet of its boardwalk and had significant damage to many of its homes due to wind and storm surge damage.  Houses must be designed to resist lateral movement of storm surges that try to push a house off its foundation, braced against the toppling wind pressure and tied from roof to foundation with a continuous load path structure.     Foundations and pilings must be protected from scouring during riverine or coastal flooding and decks and porches often require and independent structures allowing them to break away cleanly from the main structure.

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The tattered boardwalk in Belmar showing the destructive power of the storm against an engineer’s best design efforts. Belmar flooded from both the ocean side and bay side.
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Welcome to Belmar and a pile of debris that once constituted a lot of houses. DKA is practicing fortified house design to prevent the kind of damage seen after Hurricane Sandy.
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Dennis Kowal Architect believes that beautiful homes are also safe homes.  No one expects a disaster. Too often short cuts during construction compromise a structure.  DKA provides construction administration to monitor construction and enforce quality.

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Stephen Malyszka of Dennis Kowal Architects attends an in-depth training on reinforced house design.

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Dennis Kowal Architects improves the way we build!

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Unrelated advertisement below.  Please leave a comment about this blog in the comment box below the advertisement or click on more stories from the category list at the upper left top of this blog.

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