Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thesis Background

By Sean Williamson

For my second blog, I will explain the thesis I will be proposing at the end of my
Master’s degree here at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The topic of natural disasters was something I became interested in within my first summer semester here in the graduate program. We were asked to design an Open-Air museum and select a certain building type to serve as exhibits within the museum. As a result, I decided to explore the term natural disaster resistance within architecture.

Within the year 2012, four hurricanes made contact with American soil (see figure 2). Hurricane Sandy, one of these four hurricanes, was responsible for more than 50 billion dollars in damage and took more than 253 lives (accuweather). Research within this field of hurricane resistance within the United States is vital in order to reduce the damage felt by hurricanes to the community (see figure 1). My proposed thesis will incorporate the design of a mixed-use structure with a LEED building rating that is resistant to hurricanes.

The design techniques used within this hurricane resistant mixed-use structure could be taken and manipulated to be used in different areas of the world that are also affected by hurricanes or cyclones. There are multiple factors included when designed a hurricane resistant structure. High wind speeds, flooding, and flying debris are all factors that need to be taken into account when designing against hurricane resistance. Incorporating resistance to these factors, would, in return, decrease both the fatalities and damage costs dealt by hurricanes, along with provide a sustainable piece of architecture. 

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