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By Kimberly-Lantin Oct 05, 2013 1436 Words


Global climate change is predicted to spark catastrophic flooding, posing a serious threat to coastal regions worldwide. Faced with an uncertain future, human beings must re-evaluate their relationship to nature, and particularly water. In areas largely inhabited by people, there are both positive and negative environmental effects of flooding. Floods can distribute large amounts of water and suspended river sediment over vast areas. In many areas, this sediment helps replenish valuable topsoil components to agricultural lands and can keep the elevation of a land mass above sea level. An example of the latter case is the Mississippi delta. Before the Mississippi and associated rivers were controlled in levees in southern Louisiana, the rivers would frequently spill their banks. This processes made the lands of the Mississippi delta. This area is slowly subsiding with time and without the continued replenishment of sediment from river floods, much of it has dropped to elevations below natural sea level. Thus, one could say that not allowing floods is negative for this area. Our society has chosen instead to create a vast and complex system to keep Mississippi waters from reaching these lands. The lands remain dry but each year they subside more, making it ultimately more and more difficult to keep that way.     

On the negative side, floods disrupt normal drainage systems in cities and typically overwhelm sewer systems. Thus, raw or partially raw sewage spills are common in flooded area. Additionally, if the flood is severe enough, destruction of buildings that can contain a large array of toxic materials (paints, pesticides, gasoline, etc.) can cause the release of these materials into the local environment, which is not good.  

Floods disrupt many people's lives each year and personal tragedies due to flooding occur frequently. A wise society would reap the benefits of flooding and avoid many of the negatives if they would choose to build cities in ways that can accommodate flooding without trying to avoid it. Attempting to go against nature is almost certainly a losing prospect in the end. Flood prevention is really something left up to cities and towns.

Flexible and multi-layered systems are required to accommodate the changing forces of nature. Buoyant foundations are dynamic systems that operate passively, adapting to changing conditions. Specifically, buoyant foundations allow a house to remain on land during normal, non-flood conditions, but enable the house to rise and float on the water’s surface during a flood. The BF is a flood protection system that provides an alternative to permanent static elevation. It allows a house to remain close to street level while minimizing both property damage and the destruction of neighborhood character in the event of a flood. The BFP is a flood mitigation strategy that adapts to flood conditions when necessary, and does not inconvenience residents since the home remains close to street level under normal conditions.

A look at floating docks and houseboats suggests that there is an alternative approach, one that allows homes to remain close to the ground under normal conditions but rise as much as necessary when flooding occurs. There are existing precedents of cost effective amphibious houses, or houses that normally rest on the ground but float on buoyant foundations during a flood. Permanent Static Elevation

Problems with Elevated Homes
Permanent static elevation is much more expensive
Access is difficult – especially for the elderly & disabled Greater risk of wind damage in a future hurricane
Creates gap-toothed effect in the neighborhood
Homes lose relationship to the street
Loss of neighborhood character
Buoyant Foundation


House remains close to the ground
Less susceptible to hurricane wind damage
Elevates house to exactly what is required to stay above water, even if above BFE Alleviates problem of soil subsidence
Looks essentially the same as before Katrina
Original traditional architecture is preserved
Neighborhood retains original character

Climate change is an urgent matter and it has become critical to reevaluate humankind’s relationship with water. Flood mitigation strategies for coastal cities world-wide must be reconceived to accommodate the flux in climate. Flexible, multi-layered systems that can adapt to changes in sea level are imperative. Passive systems, which operate both statically and dynamically when required, are needed to accommodate the dynamic relationship between land and water. The BFP’s goal is to provide an affordable solution for homeowners to protect their possessions and enable the return of residents after a flood. Permanently elevating a home is costly, inconvenient, and heightens the risk of wind damage during future hurricanes. It also destroys neighborhood character by disrupting the relationship of house to street and does not foster a culture of social interaction. The BFP provides a culturally sensitive, technically feasible, economical, sustainable and resilient form of flood protection. This low-impact flood mitigation strategy promotes the restoration of existing shotgun homes through their retrofit with buoyant foundations using cost-effective and sustainable materials. It enables them to float during a flood. The BFP is currently the only strategy that addresses the technical, safety-related, environmental and socio-cultural aspects of flood protection simultaneously. The BFP is a more economical form of flood protection than permanent static elevation, as it is more cost- effective to implement. It also provides a higher level of flood protection than permanent static elevation because as it is able to adapt to changing flood levels. Through the retrofit of existing structures with buoyant foundations, less waste and energy are consumed in comparison to new construction. The BFP contributes to the creation of flood-resilient neighborhoods by providing a flexible system that allows a house to adapt to changing conditions when flooding occurs. It serves as a small-scale intervention, one of the many layers of flood protection necessary to provide with greater resilience to flooding. To achieve the BFP’s commitment to providing cost- effective, alternative flood protection will require innovative methods of funding to enable the project’s completion and implementation.

So ayun nga. Aware naman siguro tayo na ang pagbaha ay isang mabigat na problema sa ating bansa. Tulad ng nabanggit ko, maraming dahilan kung bakit nagkakaroon ng baha sa isang lugar like global warming, deforestation, pollution, lost waterways, clogged drains, informal settlers.

Marami sa ating mga Pilipino na mas concern sa tahanan nila kesa sa kaligtasan ng sarili nila. Meron mga pinoy na kahit lampas tao na ang baha, mag-stay lang sila sa bubong ng bahay nila to make sure na maayos pa ang bahay nila. Para bang hindi nila iniisip na mas delikado yun kasi may posibilidad na madala ng baha yung bahay nila at hindi na rin yun imposible mangyari dahil marami ng cases na ganon. So dahil sa problemang ito, I came up with an idea of buoyant house.

Ito sya (ipapakita yung IDEA) ano ba ng buoyant house? Ang buoyant house ay isang bahay na lumulutang kapag may baha. Sa picture na to, (1st image) ganyan yung hitsura niya kapag walang baha. Mukha lang siyang ordinaryong bahay na nakalapat sa lupa. Pero once na nagkabaha, (pakita 2nd image) ganito na yung magiging hitsura na. yan. (next image) Siguro may nag-iisip sa inyo na pwede naman na permanent static elevation na lang ang gawin sa bahay. Pwede din nga yon pero marami din disadvantages. Kapag ganyan yun bahay, alam naman siguro natin na kapag nasa mas mataaas na lugar tayo, mas malakas ang hangin. Kaya may possibility pa rin na masira yung bahay natin. Isa pa ay kapag may matanda kang kasama sa bahay. Syempre uugod-ugod na at makukunat na ang buto, mahirap para sa kanya na mag-akyat-baba sa hagdan. Sa tingin ko din, ang ganitong tipo ng bahay ay parang nakakalungkot. Kasi walang “connection” sa ibang bahay na nakalapat lang sa lupa. (lipat sa isa at pangalawang slide) Pero kapag buoyant house ang pinili mo, tulad nito. Yung nasa gitna ang buoyant house. At yung dalawa sa gilid ay ordinaryong bahay lang, di mo mapapansin na kakaiba sya. Nandun yung connection with neighbors at less prone pa to wind damage. At kapag may baha, may kakayahan sya na mag-elevate kung hanggang san abutin yung baha.

(lipat ulit ng slide) so ganito ang buoyant house. (panood ng video). (basahin ang IMPLEMENTATION then lipat sa 2nd to the last slide at saka explain)

Yun nga. Yung steel frame, xa yung nagsusuport o naghohold sa buoyancy blocks. Yung buoyancy blocks naman, xa yung nagpapalutang sa bahay kapag may baha. Guidance poles, nakaattached xa sa steel frame at nagsisilbing pang-angat ng bahay kapag may baha. Yung water-borne debris barriers, ang function nya lang ay pangharang sa mga basura. At yung masonry piers, yung yung pinakabase ng bahay o xa yung pinagpapatungan ng bahay.

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