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Housing for Natural Disasters

Framing and Insulation
Anchorage: Good: Advanced framing with diagonal supports and closed cell spray foam insulation, bolted to foundation Better: SIPs, bolted to foundation Houston: Good: SIPs with metal fasteners Better: Advanced framing with metal fasteners to pair with closed cell spray foam insulation

Good: Residential portable generator Better: Standby generator *Generators should be kept 25’-50’away from the home to avoid risk of CO leakage

Anchorage: Good: Traditional with proper bolting of framing to foundation Better: Posttension slab with frame properly bolted

Roofing (Hip Roof)
Good: Metal or stone Better: Impact resistant shingles, attached with four nails

Houston: Good: Open crawl space above BFE Better: Posttension slab

Flooring Plumbing
Good: Copper piping with fiberglass insulation and a ball valve to prevent back flow Better: PEX tubing with heat tape and gate valve to prevent back flow Good: Hardwood with waterproof membrane Better: Vinyl or tile with waterproof membrane

Good: Reinforced light frame chimney Better: Short and wide, steel reinforced masonry attached to all floor

Good: Good: Laminated glass Better: Better: Impact resistant window

Good: Paperless drywall Better: Two sheets of drywall with gap between them in middle of wall, covered by chair rail

Window Covering
Good: Accordion shutters Better: Hurricane shutters

Anchorage: Good: Fiber cement siding Better: Vinyl siding Houston: Good: Fiber cement siding Better: Brick or stone veneer

Good: Wind resistant garage door Better: Impact resistant garage door with additional bracing on side walls

Home Shelter Features
Good: Hurricane Shelter
4x6 studs, 12” on center with two layers of plywood sheathing attached • Fire rated and impact resistant door with interior lock • Landline telephone • Safe • Electrical panel • Tankless hot water heater • • • • • Washer and dryer Food storage Center drain Fire extinguisher Sink

Better: Safe Room
Concrete or cinder block walls, floor and ceiling reinforced with steal beams and rebar

Electrical Suggestions
• Place all electrical components at 3ft from floor • Install lightening rod • Smoke and CO detectors on walls with battery back up • Ceiling fans, pendants and chandeliers should have additional bracing onto ceiling

In 2011, over $52 billion dollars was lost to damages from natural hazards in the United States, most in the residential sector. This project is an investigation of construction methods and design characteristics applied to new homes to better support residential wood structures against natural hazards. I will be focusing on two locations because of their affinity for natural hazards: Anchorage, Alaska and Houston, Texas. I have utilized online mitigation sources, government agencies, contacted specialists, and used research to compile the information needed to understand the danger of living in hazard-prone areas.

Site Decisions:
Avoid V and A flood zones Avoid expansive soils Avoid proximity on fault lines Avoid karst, limestone, or other dissolving material formation

Cara Davis Virginia Tech, Class of 2014; AHRM: Housing Option

2012-2013 Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Parrott

Special Thanks to Dr. Claudette Reichel at the LSU LaHouse