There's a house for replacement housing after disasters being tested
in New Orleans. It uses sheets of steel with insulation between them
and a strong frame. It can stand high winds and is not prone to water
damage. It's based on the fact that walk-in coolers stood up to the
disaster. The house costs $100,000, takes 14 weeks to build, and is
about 1100 square feet.
Well, I previously suggested replacement housing for disaster areas in
the Caribbean after hurricanes hit. This house is pre-cast concrete
but cored to reduce weight. The pre-cast would have raised ledges for
floor joists and then a wedge joint for adding a second level pre-
cast. The second level pre-cast would have upper ledges for roof
rafters. The pre-cast itself is just a perimeter shape without floor
or roof. A bulldozer would make level pads and then helicopters or
ground cranes would set the pre-cast on the pads. The locals, being
given the houses, would finish the houses with lumber.
For New Orleans I suggested steel frames with steel legs that sit on
concrete footings. The steel frames would have brackets that floor
joists, wall studs, and roof rafters wedge into. The steel frame would
not be incredibly strong but would take final shape as the building
materials were wedged into place. The idea is that steel is relatively
lightweight as a building material while lumber avoids the vibration
of steel. And so the two building materials are combined together. The
legs of the steel frame could be whatever height is required for flood
level but still be braced with replaceable wood beams. Finally, this
steel frame with legs could have been given to lot owners after
demolition of disaster damaged homes and then finish of the house up
to the lot owner.
And there is a charity that built a dozen or more of innovative and
experimental houses in the most flood prone areas of New Orleans.
Personally, I'm not really saying to try and save the worst areas but
am trying to build lightweight houses for soft ground.
In fact, why not dredge the lake on one side of the levee and fill the
low land on the other side of the levee ?
And another idea was a commute-city with express buses.
A third idea was a wall of stacked rocks that are 4 feet in diameter.
The wall would leak water but would stand up to a surge of water if a
But there are many disaster prone places around the world where
permanent structures could be re-fitted after disasters.