Cali­for­ni­an anti-flo­od house

01. 01. 2012 | Examples of international modular projects

This anti-flo­od hou­se is an ele­gant model for are­as in vari­ous coun­tries that are sub­ject to flo­ods. It con­sists of a con­structi­on design that rema­ins untou­ched even during lar­ger flo­ods, tsuna­mis or incre­a­ses in sea level. The hyb­rid pre­fab­ri­ca­ted sys­tem with ste­el fra­mes and local lining mate­ri­als has been designed to ena­ble both adap­tati­ons based on locati­on and worl­dwi­de use. Modu­le adap­ta­bi­li­ty: the cen­t­ral con­so­le carrier ena­bles futu­re expan­si­on as well as pro­tecti­on and con­necti­ons with the ori­gi­nal his­to­ric buil­ding. The double plot of land also con­ta­ins the first coastal hou­se from this street, built in 1940. Here a cer­ti­fied inno­va­ti­ve sys­tem of foun­dati­ons is used, which requi­res 30% less mate­rial than current anti-flo­od houses.


Com­posi­te foun­dati­ons: the inno­va­ti­ve sys­tem of ste­el anchors com­bi­ned with a con­cre­te cove­ring ensu­res a usa­ble ground flo­or sur­fa­ce for recre­ati­on and par­king. The foun­dati­ons are light enou­gh to flo­od in wet are­as below the foun­dati­on, but are strong enou­gh to withstand the for­ce of waves. The foun­dati­ons have been cre­a­ted both as alter­na­ti­ve and as typi­cal pillars, which reach 40 feet into the depth. The hori­zon­tal ste­el fra­me and the sys­tem of carriers maxi­mi­ses usa­ble spa­ce abo­ve the flo­od level and inclu­des sup­port on columns that are resistant to waves. The fra­me is pre­fab­ri­ca­ted, impor­ted in parts and assem­bled on site. The peri­me­ter ste­el carrier ena­bles uncon­so­ling abo­ve the ori­gi­nal building.

Pro­gram and data

Small deve­lo­ped sur­fa­ce: the area of the second flo­or is 42 m², whe­re 32 m² con­sists of borrowed spa­ce“ for the inte­ri­ors. A total of 56 m² of fle­xi­ble inter­nal and exter­nal spa­ce is loca­ted below the uncon­so­led buil­ding. Uncon­so­led second flo­or: the bedro­om, bal­co­ny, bathro­om and four observati­on are­as flo­at at a hei­ght abo­ve the basic flo­od angle. The dining room and living room are loca­ted in the ori­gi­nal object. Throu­gh the use of inno­va­ti­ve con­structi­on and mate­ri­als, the inves­tor’s requi­re­ments for maxi­mum susta­i­na­bi­li­ty and pro­tecti­on of ori­gi­nal con­structi­on have been fulfilled.


Wes­tern red cedar forms the mant­le of the ven­ti­la­ted faca­de. This invol­ves high-tech appli­cati­on of low-tech renewa­ble mate­rial. Air cir­cu­la­tes below the lining, cre­a­ting a ther­mal insu­lati­on layer and a rain barrier. The cedar details cre­a­te an aesthe­tic enhan­ce­ment to the eclectic cha­rac­ter of the rus­tic Northern Cali­for­ni­an con­structi­on from the mid­dle of the last century.

The two high glass-fit­ted gates“ are hung on the exte­ri­or of the top flo­or, which ensu­res natu­ral ven­ti­lati­on and access to the terra­ce with a view to the west towards the oce­an and to the east towards the coast. The win­dows from the flo­or to the cei­ling are for pro­tecti­on aga­inst pas­si­ve war­ming com­bi­ned with roof over­han­gs and sun screens.

In the ver­si­on of the pro­to­ty­pe, the­re were also sli­ding rol­ling par­ti­ti­ons ful­fil­ling the functi­on of sun scre­ens. If the sea level rises in the futu­re, they can be used as piers for access to boats.

The inte­ri­or sur­fa­ces con­sist of a flo­or made from dried bam­boo with accents of blue sla­te and insu­la­ted aga­inst noi­se by gre­en walls, which balan­ce the warm cedar and the grey ste­el and emphasi­se the aesthe­tics of the North Pacific.

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