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Seven design decisions contributed to this house surviving Hurricane Michael

by Amy Macdonald, Associate Principal, Thornton Tomaseitti


Resilience requires a risk-informed, future-focused approach to design.

Here are seven design decisions that contributed to the house on the beach pictured above surviving Hurricane Michael, while their neighbours were not so lucky:

  • Walls were made of poured reinforced concrete
  • The building sits atop pilings that are 40 feet deep
  • Steel cables travel from the girders above the pilings though the roof and continue down the back wall
  • A proposed balcony on the east wall was removed at the design stage
  • The roof overhang was kept very small compared with adjacent properties
  • Some proposed windows were replaced with concrete
  • The house was raised on stilts so that storm surge could pass underneath

You can read more about how the house remained resilient to the extreme weather in this New York Times article.  


For further reading, please visit our Knowledge Hub.


Photo credit: New York Times 

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