with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Rebuild Hurricane and Flooding Zone Homes with Houses that Swim

You don’t have to look far to see the cleverness and ingenuity of man. The problem is that the information of one group’s cleverness never seems to reach the ones who need the same clever thinking.

In Amsterdam, US journalists are exploring how the Netherlands dealt with their flooding problems over the centuries. A little late to the game with thousands of homes destroyed by recent hurricanes and the resulting floods, but still, it’s proving to be fascinating. I hope the US can learn from these brilliant flood and construction experts when it comes time to rebuild New Orleans, as well as along the Gulf Coast and in Florida.

One brilliant design comes from Speigel International’s Dutch Answer to Flooding – Build Houses that Swim. The homes are built on a water tight “cellar” that acts like a float. When the water rises, the house rises. The homes are kept from moving around by strong posts held deep into the ground. They are built to withstand open sea forces which rarely come inland, though the current can be very strong.

It is this kind of novel approach needed in the United States when it comes time to rebuilding. If you are going to build homes and businesses along hurricane zones and flood areas, then work with nature not against.

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