Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thesis Research

By Sean Williamson

Before getting into the design of my hurricane resistant mixed-use structure, I need to further my knowledge within this field of hurricane resistance. Within this blog post I will explore various case studies related to hurricane & cyclone resistance and begin to analysis what works and doesn’t work within each design.

The first case study I came across in my research was a prefabricated wind resistant circular home designed by Deltec (see image 1). The shape of this home works very well against the high winds that come with a hurricane. The circular structure of the building transfers environmental loads most efficiently with a high degree of redundancy which provides the support needed during critical events. Material selection was also key in the design of this home. Machine rated 2400 psi framing lumber makes up the structure. Reinforced windows with impact glass prevent wind and rain to enter the structure. Because my mixed-use design will be a high-rise, I will obviously have to choose a stronger material for the structure. This structure will most likely be steel, but there is a possibility it could end up being concrete.

This next case study is very interesting to me. The Stamp House, located in Australia, was designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone (see image 2). It was designed by Charles Wright Architects and is both off-grid and carbon neutral. The entire roof area is harvested into a 250,000 litre in-ground water tank integrated with all hydraulic systems. In this case study, concrete is the structural component. The concrete structure is ideal for the location due to its inherent long life cycle efficiency and material properties to deal with the harsh, corrosive wet tropical environment. The angles on the roof and facade of the structure are very interesting. Within image 3 you can see the roof and facade angles. Another component of the design worth mentioning is how the architect expressed the structure of the roof. You can see in image 4 how strong the structure is throughout the interior. This exposed structure is a very strong concept within the design.

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