Friday, September 12, 2014

Storm-Surge Ready Dwellings

Project designs by Arch Marvin Mijares.
To inquire or contact him, please use the Contact Form
on the sidebar.
Storm surge in Metro Manila? In coastal towns probably but not in the middle of this metropolis. Right? In cities near the bay probably, like Navotas and Malabon, but not in Quezon City or Makati. But we forget that once upon a time, Marikina was severely hit by deadly floods during Ondoy--and Marikina is far from any sea or bay.

The Philippines is an archipelago, and as such, being surrounded by large bodies of water, it's not hard to imagine how even its central plains lying far from bodies of water are prone to storm surges. Crisscrossing the central plains are rivers and creeks which can swell incredibly in extreme rains and drown entire towns, districts and even cities, catching us all by surprise.

Multi-Level Dwellings

In light of recent catastrophic events affecting even inland cities, it is high time to seriously consider storm-surge factors in building design. Preventive measures are always lots better than remedial measures. Let's not wait till it's too late. Often, safety measures are formulated only when mass destruction and death have occurred. Before the worse happens to you, your family or your property assets, re-think about the structure of your residence.

Multi-level dwellings are highly recommended to render dwellings storm-surge ready. Two to three level houses--better if 4 floors or 3 with a rooftop--provide escape to higher levels easily possible during a rapid storm surge. Occupants can seek quick refuge on the upper floors while buying time for rescue to arrive in time. Take one residential area right in the middle of Quezon City, for instance--Parkway Village.

During Ondoy, the residents were too confident that no flood of incredible proportions would hit them. After all, they were in the inner land where no huge body of water was close by. But the unimaginable happened. At 10 am, flood waters suddenly rose from the streets at a very rapid pace, taking only a few seconds before the ground floors of residences were submerged under water.

Soon, the waters were reaching the second floors, and then the roof tops--all within minutes. One-storey residences didn't stand a chance. When we inspected the area after the typhoon, the most horrifying stories were from residences with one-storey height.

As relevant today in construction design as seismic analysis is, should be storm-surge consideration. And the best option here is multi-level houses which are storm-surge ready dwellings, without compromising aesthetics and economics.

The multi-level residences above were done by our friend Arch Marvin Mijares. For similar designs and construction or price estimates, please use the Contact Form on the sidebar.

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