Why use an architect
- Architects are trained to take your brief and can see the big picture.
- Architects look beyond your immediate requirements to design flexible buildings that will adapt with the changing needs of your business.
- Architects solve problems creatively
- When they are involved at the earliest planning stage, they gain more opportunities to understand your business, develop creative solutions, and propose ways to reduce costs.
- Architects can save you money by maximising your investment.
- A well-designed building can reduce your bills now and increase its long-term value.
- Architects can manage your project from site selection to completion.
- In many building projects the role of the architect includes co-ordinating a team of specialist consultants such as landscape architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, interior designers, builders and subcontractors.
- Architects can save you time.
- By managing and co-ordinating key project elements they allow you to focus on your organisation’s activities.
- Architects can help your business.
- They create total environments, interior and exterior, which are pleasing and functional for the people who work and do business within them.
The choice of building materials can also affect the ability of a building to withstand hurricanes, although it is not always possible to use different materials, if the area is extremely vulnerable to high winds, it is good practice to use the most resistant materials available.
Timber is the most common building material as it is readily available, relatively inexpensive and has a degree of flexibility which can be beneficial in certain high stress situations and can effectively be built to withstand fairly strong wind loads. However, termite and dry rot are frequent problems in timber buildings particularly in warm and humid climates if left untreated. Weakened timber structure are unlikely to withstand strong winds; therefore to combat this certain building codes require the use of pressure-treated timber for all structural elements of the building, which is designed to prevent rot and deterioration.
Reinforced concrete is a strong, dense material, resistant to fire and if used in a building that is designed appropriately, can withstand the destructive force of very strong winds, thumping waves and even high speed fragments. Concrete used in home construction must be reinforced with steel rebar, while the rebar can rust in wet or humid environments, there are various effective means to retard or prevent rebar corrosion due to moisture. This material is truly sustainable and that includes sustaining a hurricane. If you are preparing to build a new house in a hurricane prone area, you may wonder what construction material is the best for a hurricane resistant house. We are typically referring to the frame (skeleton) of the structure. The decision of what material to use on the house frame is important, including material cost, performance, and ease of construction. Those of you living in a coastal area, the material performance are of particular importance, but other factors must be examined as well. When it comes to performance, there are many benefits to building a house with concrete. Whether it be formed-in-place concrete or concrete masonry, concrete has inherit strength benefits that will naturally resist hurricane force winds.
Wind acting on the roof surfaces of a building can cause negative pressures that are likely to create a lifting force. This is one of the most common ways a building can be destroyed during a storm. Gravity alone may not be sufficient to prevent the roof from lifting, or detaching off the rest of the building. Once this occurs the structure is weakened considerably and the rest of the building is likely to fail as well. To minimize this, the upper structure should be securely anchored through the walls to the foundation; several techniques can be used to securely anchor the roof. Traditionally roof trusses were simply nailed unto the top of the walls, these nails provide little or no actual structural advantage; they're mainly used to hold the trusses in place while the rest of the roof is being built, gravity and friction then ensure the roof stays put. Various products have been developed that can actually anchor the roof to the walls, which should then be anchored to a solid foundation. Metal straps nailed into the wall and wrap over the trusses are one solution, other method include straps made of a special low elongation material, straps have successfully been used with an advantage in that a buildings which may not be constructed to withstand strong wind loading can be quickly and temporarily strapped to the foundation to ensure structural stability.
Window & Doors
Hurricane shutters can also provide effective protection, generally windows, doors, and other openings are usually the weakest points in a building and are susceptible to collapse by high wind pressure and gusting debris. Once failure occurs wind pressure builds up inside the building and within an instant may lift the roof off.
It is usually a requirement to install 150 miles per hour tested windows in hurricane prone areas; these windows should have plastic panes, shatter-proof glass or glass with protective membranes (impact glass), the panes have to be firmly attached than normal window panes (possibly even using screws or bolts through the edges of larger panes).
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