Hurricane-resistant home uses resilient boat-building techniques to weather the storm

June 28, 2018 by  
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In the wake of Hurricane Sandy , American firm Specht Architects designed the Beach Haven House, a contemporary home built to withstand hurricanes and harsh weather. Crafted with boat-building techniques and materials, the resilient beachfront house in New Jersey’s Long Beach Island serves as a weekend getaway for a family of five. The elevated 2,500-square-foot home is wrapped in two types of cedar siding and features a fiberglass roof, stainless steel exterior components and large panes of hurricane-grade glass that frame views of the surroundings. When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast U.S., Specht Architects had already started on a renovation project in New Jersey’s Beach Haven community. In the wake of the superstorm however, new beachfront regulations enacted by FEMA forced the architects to begin the design anew in order to meet revised requirements. “The challenge was to create something open and light-filled that takes advantage of its beautiful setting, yet uses every available square inch of buildable area allowed by law,” explained Specht Architects, citing the many code-regulated square-footage and height restrictions. The home is elevated on stilts to comply with FEMA’s Base Flood Elevation and sits atop a carport lined with gravel. To allow the home to embrace the outdoors, the architects added large windows, balconies and tear-away panels. A stairway on the south side of the home leads up to the second floor that primarily houses the communal areas. An open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area — which also open up to a shaded balcony — occupy much of this floor. The second floor also consists of a flex room that can be used as an en suite guest room or office space, a TV lounge area and a hot tub. Related: Specht Architects’ Sundial House is a sculptural extension of the desert landscape On the side of the living area is a sculptural open tread timber staircase that leads up to the third floor and overlooks views of the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows. On the east side of the upper floor is the en suite master bedroom that connects to a balcony and faces sunrise ocean views. The floor also houses three children’s bedrooms — each uniquely styled like a “ship’s cabin” — and a shared bathroom on the far west side. + Specht Architects Images by Taggart Sorensen

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Hurricane-resistant home uses resilient boat-building techniques to weather the storm

New resilient waterfront park helps protect NYC from storm surges

June 28, 2018 by  
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Waterfront parks have been springing up all over New York City, including in Long Island City, where Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park just completed its second phase this week. Designed by SWA/Balsley in collaboration with Weiss/Manfredi , this resilient stretch of parkland replaces 11 acres of abandoned industrial sites and boasts spectacular views of Manhattan’s skyline. In addition to a wide array of recreational facilities and equipment, the park was also integrated with salt marshes and native plantings that serve as a natural line of defense against extreme weather and storm surges. As New York City moves full-speed ahead on reclaiming the waterfront for the public, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park joins an impressive lineup of post-industrial parks including the recently completed Domino Park in Brooklyn . Crafted to feel like New York City’s newest “island,” the new park features lush habitat as well as recreational and cultural features, like New York-based artist Nobuho Nagasawa’s ‘Luminescence’ land art installation. The landscape was sculpted in response to projected flooding patterns and rising water levels of the East River. “It’s a new kind of park,” said lead landscape architect Tom Balsley of SWA/Balsley, for whom the $100 million park project has been 25 years in the making. “Hunter’s Point South is at once resilient infrastructure and contemplative retreat — a dynamic, living platform with extraordinary power to touch the daily lives of so many people.” Related: 10 landscape design projects that turned neglected spaces into incredible parks The first phase, located closer to the ferry terminal, was completed in 2013 and serves as the more active half of the park with bicycle pathways, basketball courts, a playground, fitness equipment and a turf field. The second 5.5-acre phase added more walking trails, a kayak launch, picnicking areas and a  promenade that leads to the Overlook, a 30-foot-tall cantilevered platform with sweeping views of Manhattan skyline and East River. The park officially opened to the public this week. + SWA/Balsley + Weiss/Manfredi Images by Albert Vecerka Esto and Bill Tatham

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New resilient waterfront park helps protect NYC from storm surges

FEMA scrubs statistics on Puerto Rico’s lack of water and electricity from website

October 6, 2017 by  
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After Hurricane Maria — a category 4 storm — knocked out power for Puerto Rico ’s 3.5 million citizens, the FEMA website became a major lifeline for Americans to stay informed of recovery efforts. However just yesterday vital details vanished from the agency’s website – including statistics on how many people have access to electricity and clean water . Now, only information that showcases recovery efforts in a positive light is available. As a result, it is difficult to know the true extent of damages in Puerto Rico, and how citizens are coping with the aftermath. On Wednesday, the website clearly stated that 5 percent of Puerto Rican citizens have access to electricity and 50 percent have access to clean water. Later that night, the information was erased. As Gizmodo reports, more “positive” information is now shared, including the percentage of hospitals open (92 percent) and the percentage of grocery stores open (65 percent). There’s no longer any data on water availability – instead, there’s a new section on “Water/Wastewater Impacts,” and the only thing it reveals is that 64 percent of wastewater treatments are functioning. Also, instead of an Infographic detailing recovery efforts, there is now a photo of helicopters delivering relief supplies and another of a soldier hugging Puerto Rican residents. Information on the number of federal staff (14,000) and FEMA personnel (800) on the ground are still available on the website. Information on open airports (100 percent) and miles of roadway cleared in total (20 miles) is forefront and centered on the website, as well. When pressed for question, a FEMA spokesperson told The Washington Post that the information is still available on the Spanish website , which Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló maintains. Reportedly, the FEMA spokesperson had no idea why the federal agency was erasing information from its own site “that made it look bad.” Related: The Puerto Rico nursery still up and running thanks to solar power Some suspect President Trump’s recent visit had something to do with the agency deleting valuable statistics. When Trump visited the island earlier this week, he seemed more concerned with his reputation than actually helping the less fortunate. In fact, Trump “jokingly” told the storm-ravaged people that he was spending too much money on them. “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you are throwing our budget out of whack,” Trump said. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Puerto Rico .” The President added that Hurricane Maria wasn’t a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina. FEMA spokesperson William Booher told The Washington Post: “Our mission is to support the governor and his response priorities through the unified command structure to help Puerto Ricans recover and return to routines. Information on the stats you are specifically looking for are readily available.” + FEMA Via Gizmodo, The Washington Post Images via Hayales De Coama , FEMA , CNN, The Japan Times

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FEMA scrubs statistics on Puerto Rico’s lack of water and electricity from website

Hurricane Harvey may have totaled up to 500,000 cars

August 30, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Harvey didn’t just devastate homes and businesses – it may also have totaled up to half a million cars. An estimated 500,000 Texan vehicles will likely be scrapped, leading to a massive sales wave of new and used cars in the near future. Compared to the fallout of other major storms, such as Hurricane Sandy , the density of totaled vehicles in Houston is staggering. Cox Automotive — the company behind Kelly Blue Book and Autotrader — told CNBC that nearly 500,000 vehicles are likely to be totaled. Reportedly, “scores” of trucks and cars had water up to their windows and, in some cases, over the hood and roof. Said Jonathon Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive, “This is worse than Hurricane Sandy . Sandy was bad, but the flooding with Hurricane Harvey could impact far more vehicles.” 250,000 vehicles were scrapped in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy battered New York and New Jersey. Related: 1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh Whenever a hurricane hits, it leaves a legacy of damaged property, industrial waste, raw sewage, and oil spills – and the repercussions of Hurricane Harvey will be felt for many months. According to Ryan Maue with Weatherbell, 11 trillion gallons of rain dumped on the state during the actual storm ; by the time the weather dissipates completely, that number is expected to increase to 25 trillion gallons of rain. In total, 30,000 people sought temporary shelter and 450,000 are expected to seek assistance from FEMA . Via Jalopnik , CNN , CNBC Images via Defense.gov

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Hurricane Harvey may have totaled up to 500,000 cars

Bates Masi Architects unveils their tiny day-lit Beach Hampton House

March 3, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Bates Masi Architects unveils their tiny day-lit Beach Hampton House Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: (FEMA) , bates masi architects , country house , daylit architecture , flood-resistant house , floods , glass walls , green architecture , Hamptons house , new york architecture , NY waterfront , water-resistant house , waterfront

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Bates Masi Architects unveils their tiny day-lit Beach Hampton House

These States Are Poorly Prepared for Global Warming – Is Yours on the List?

February 17, 2014 by  
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Every state has a plan for what to do in the event of disaster, specifically, a “State Hazard Mitigation Plan,” but there’s no requirement that these plans take global warming into consideration. As a result, individual states vary wildly from one another in their levels of preparation for storms, flooding, heatwaves and other climate disasters. This map , from Matthew Babcock at Columbia University’s Center for Climate Change Law shows each state’s level of preparation for global warming -related hazards, and, in short, it’s bad news for Delaware, better news for California. Read the rest of These States Are Poorly Prepared for Global Warming – Is Yours on the List? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: (FEMA) , Climate Change , Climate Disaster , Columbia University , disaster mitigation , disaster planning , extreme weather , flooding , global warming , hazard mitigation , hurricanes , Matthew Babcock , natural disaster , State Hazard Mitigation Plan , superstorm        

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These States Are Poorly Prepared for Global Warming – Is Yours on the List?

Obama Blames Global Warming for California Drought, Pledges $183 Million in Aid

February 17, 2014 by  
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In response to one of the most serious droughts to hit California in decades, President Obama has promised hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid to help residents cope. The past three years have seen  below-average rainfall, putting 17 communities and many famers at risk of literally running out of water within the next three months. While Obama’s offer of $183 million in drought relief funds has been welcomed by those in the rural and agricultural areas most affected by the drought , his attempts to link the water shortage to climate change have not been so appreciated. Read the rest of Obama Blames Global Warming for California Drought, Pledges $183 Million in Aid Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: barack obama , california agriculture , california drought , california state of emergency , california water conservation , Climate Change , extreme weather , federal disaster relief , federal drought relief , global warming , president obama , state of emergency        

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FEMA Expects 45% Increase in Flood Zones Across the US by 2100

July 1, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock The Federal Emergency Management Agency just released a map of estimated flood zones in the United States for the year 2100—and it doesn’t look good. According to FEMA, we can expect a 45 percent increase in the area of the U.S. that will be at risk of major flooding – including almost half of the eastern part of the country, and much of the west. The agency also estimates that 11.2 million homes will be subject to the National Flood Insurance Program as “special flood hazard zones” almost double. Read the rest of FEMA Expects 45% Increase in Flood Zones Across the US by 2100 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: (FEMA) , eco design , Federal Emergency Management Agency , green design , National Flood Insurance Program , SPecial Flood Hazard Zones , sustainable design , United States Flood Zones        

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FEMA Expects 45% Increase in Flood Zones Across the US by 2100

TOTeMs Architecture’s Conch-Shaped Casey Guest House Sits Lightly Among the Mangroves

May 10, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of TOTeMs Architecture’s Conch-Shaped Casey Guest House Sits Lightly Among the Mangroves Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: (FEMA) , Casey Guest House , curvilinear design , eco design , florida , green design , mangroves , minimalist , Sarasota Bay , sustainable design , totems , totems architecture

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TOTeMs Architecture’s Conch-Shaped Casey Guest House Sits Lightly Among the Mangroves

Solar Parasols Charge Laptops, Phones and Tablets while Providing Shade at Milan Design Week

May 10, 2012 by  
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Eclipse and Kosmos , the two solar parasols by Ombrellone Solare , showcased at the famous Fabbrica Del Vapore at this year’s Milan Design Week saw great success, not only because of the shade they provided, but also due to advanced technology involved in harnessing the power from the sun to charge the batteries of resting visitors, literally. Read the rest of Solar Parasols Charge Laptops, Phones and Tablets while Providing Shade at Milan Design Week Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , eclipse , extremis , Fabbrica Del Vapore , Konarka , kosmos , milan design week 2012 , Ombrellone Solare , Organic Photovoltaic , Salone Del Mobile 2012 , Solar Charging , Solar Parasol , Solar Power , Umbrosa

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Solar Parasols Charge Laptops, Phones and Tablets while Providing Shade at Milan Design Week

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