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Author Topic: Raise your Swords for Texas!  (Read 654 times)
Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2017, 09:44:06 pm »

I'm happy to hear you chaps are alright - although within a few feet of the back door does sound a little too close for comfort! I guess there will be a huge number of displaced people, and of course the problem with flood damage is you just can't move back in once the waters have receded, it takes ages for properties to be made good again (or at least it always seems to over here when the Severn, as it often does, breaks its banks).

Yours,
Miranda.
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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2017, 12:08:44 am »

I'm happy to hear you chaps are alright - although within a few feet of the back door does sound a little too close for comfort!

My father was a real estate agent, and once had a house built on a lot on a lake. The house was built a foot away from the 100-year floodline. Houses on the same lake had been built below the floodline. Know what you are buying when you buy a lake house.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2017, 01:07:50 am »

Just saw this on the T.V.: not merely "over a trillion gallons," but OVER NINE TRILLION GALLONS of water! Shocked

Anybody got some nice, dessicated desert property...?
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Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2017, 10:50:56 am »

All of central Australia!  Grin
Three quarters of the country (near enough) is desert, so 9 Trillion galloons of water would do nicely, thank your!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2017, 07:05:52 am »

All of central Australia!  Grin
Three quarters of the country (near enough) is desert, so 9 Trillion galloons of water would do nicely, thank your!
Though I suspect that 9 Trillion gallons of water dumped on a desert soil that has not seen water in a very long time might lead to some catastrophic flash floods, and some interesting mud flows

It will be interesting to see if this storm busts the boom that has kept Houston going for so long (I kind of doubt it, at least in the short term; we're a port, after all, even if that facility needs repair now). Plenty of work for people to do in the repair/recovery dimension, and sooner or later they'll get around to putting up flood countermeasures to keep what happened this weekend from happening again. The problem, though, is that Houston is just so danged BIG.


I think there will be a construction boom. No doubt about it. Loss of life for a city of that size (so far) has been very low, and the number of displaced people could be as high as half a million according to some long term projections.

I'm happy to hear you chaps are alright - although within a few feet of the back door does sound a little too close for comfort! I guess there will be a huge number of displaced people, and of course the problem with flood damage is you just can't move back in once the waters have receded, it takes ages for properties to be made good again (or at least it always seems to over here when the Severn, as it often does, breaks its banks).

Yours,
Miranda.

American post WWII housing, I presume, is very different from British standards. Wooden stud frame on a flat concrete slab lined with plaster and covered with a myriad of non-structural materials plaster, brick*, wood siding, means that many homes will be razed, and re-built entirely on the slab.

* Unlike Europe or Latin America where the entire wall may be structural, in American construction, structural (typically wooden) frame components are kept separately from the wall coverings.  This is mostly true in the South and West of the US, outside of "older" regions like the American North East.The reason is that traditionally engineering tables for materials such as stone and brick are not available or considered unreliable unless calculated by a structural engineer, like in a modern commercial building. The result is that any brick or stone covering a wall is non-structural and actually is separated by a space gap designed to keep moisture from getting trapped between the inner walls and the covering, whatever that may be.

Even though Houston is a warm weather area, American customary construction practices follow the requirements of much colder areas like the American North/Eastern coast. The reasoning is that winters in some areas can be so cold, that ice can form between, for example, a structural wooden panel (water-insulated plywood or particle board, typically) and an exterior brick wall. The water expands as it forms ice and drives an icy wedge that separates the brick from the structural wall. Humidity is also though to create mold. Spaces in between are thought to promote ventilation and direct water off the wooden structure.

So unless an engineer signs off on it, American architects will follow this arcane wood stud/panel + air gap + self supporting exterior wall method of design. The approach is to treat the brick or stone as a "floating" structure, separated by a space away from the plywood and wooden stud structure, where air can flow. Behind the plywood between the studs you will have fibreglass insulation, and finally a plaster cover or "sheetrock" in front of that on the interior. The result is hollow walls which unfortunately when flooded with water tend to become unusable due to rot and mold. Only commercial buildings tend to use structural brick walls, and even then, the same separation method is used may be used depending on conditions approved by the structural engineer, and usually also relying on a metal frame structure or reinforced concrete columns to provide the structural strength of the building. The only exception to the rule is concrete block construction which can yield truly solid walls, albeit also each block is also hollow on the inside follwing the same logic. Concrete block does exist, but is rarely used in residential construction in the United States. EVEN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR HOMES are made in this way.

I should know, selling our limestone products in our family business was a huge challenge on account of having to design self supporting stone walls and special "tie-in" methods to attach to the wooden structural wood panels. Like trying to place ceramic tiles over origami sculptures, and saying the origami paper is the "structural" component. Sad but true - this is "customary" US residential construction practice - and YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW IT, for it's the law! Our stonework, like stone columns, though perfectly capable to withstand the entire weight of the house-SEVERAL TIMES OVER, was often treated as "non-structural" in the architects' design. The building material (e.g limestone) is not considered to be reliable enough - but mostly because there are no property data charts available to civil engineers and architects. In other words, American architects don't know how to incorporate stone into the strucuture.

In contrast, Latin American and European structures will make ample use of solid masonry construction for walls. Thus these later buildings can recover from flooding much more easily.


~ ~ ~

One of our customers, an Iranian oil-baron millionaire ex-pat who came to the US before the Iranian revolution, decided to build his house in Houston circa 2000. The location was near a high-rise building district in downtown Houston, in a low lying and heavily vegetated strip of land very close to a body of water, if I remember correctly. Extremely expensive strip of land as you could imagine. He decided to copy an 18th C. American Romanesque manor from somewhere in the North East. Some Early American building which is famous, I presume. He requested a bid from our company for the entire exterior of the house.

As usual for the United States, his house followed the wooden frame construction method described above, incorporating some steel beam components throughout for a 4-storey high structure, if I remember correctly. My uncle is an architect and my grandfather was a civil engineer. While my grandfather thought about how to make the stone structure self-supporting with steel beams, my uncle drafted the exterior plans (he charged $2000). and that was just for the bidding process. The owner, wanted to pay $1 million for the entire limestone façade with hand-carved plus [early tech] CAD/CAM crafted pieces. We quoted him $ 3 million for the work, and he didn't purchase from us.

Now I'm quite sure that house is in some deep trouble right now. And I mean deep. Now, understand that was a giant house. Way outside of the "normal," even for millionaires. The largest and most expensive bid we ever made by a factor of 10 larger than typical large bid. The price of the entire property was estimated by my uncle to be in the order of $50 million US Dollars! I'm curious to see what the owner will do now.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 08:09:12 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2017, 09:36:44 pm »

Interesting development: seems lots of rented spaces and even some privately-owned domiciles are being issued notice of mandatory eviction due to the risk of either flooding or conditions conducive to the formation of life-threatening mold and other noxious things (or all of the above). I have a friend who has only five days to vacate his apartment (which he shares with his mother, whom he supports and cares for), and who is scrambling to find a place to live and to continue to care for his increasingly ill and vegetative parent. Scores of others are in similar and worse situations. I'm afraid the idea that "we're alright now" is/was a bit premature, as many of our friends and acquaintances are going to be dealing with the aftermath of the storm for quite some time to come.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2017, 08:32:38 pm »

Worse, I'm awaiting a response from my family members in Florida. From what government officials say, this storm will be a lot worse than Hurricane Andrew was. The hurricane's perimeter will span the entire state. That has me worried for my cousin and his wife (he's the eldest kid my uncle and his wife, the aunt in Austin who passed away last year of you read my posts)
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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2017, 01:40:50 am »

Worrying, stressful times, and no comfort other than knowing others are thinking of you and hoping for the best, or at least, not the worst.
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J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2017, 12:06:58 am »

O just found out my cousin and his wife have decided to stay put in Florida, even though their closest friends left for Alabama. My uncle tried to convince them to leave but they're afraid of the people glut during the exodus of people, and they want to keep their two dogs...
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