May 3, 2011
Weeks after the Japanese disaster, images of devastation, fear and terror still dominate the worldwide media, leaving governments, environmentalists and architects across the world grappling with ideas on how to build more ‘flood-proof’ structures.
But how can the world stop a tidal wave more than 10 metres high and travelling faster than an airplane, destroying whole coastal towns?
New York is not usually inhibited of leading the way and implementing strategies and trends for the rest of the world to follow, and in present-day New York, the focus is on creating flood-proof buildings, with stilts seemingly being the answer.
Since there was a recent change in building regulations in New York, developers of new constructions in flood-risk areas are required to design and build buildings on stilts, so that they stand at least 3ft above maximum flood levels.
Talking about designing buildings which are resistant to flood water, James P Colgate, assistant commissioner at the Department of Buildings says:
“There’s a very small population of buildings where you have to design on stilts. Most of these buildings are designed for still water. When the water comes up to a certain level and when it leaves, that event should happen without an insurance claim and without damage to the building or people.”