Hurricane Sandy Replacement Homes
A FAST, PERMANENT, AFFORDABLE SOLUTION to HURRICANE SANDY and FUTURE STORMS
Almost all the homes destroyed or damaged by Sandy were stick-framed. Those not actually leveled will have to be gutted (the water-logged sheetrock, particle board, and insulation removed).
INSANITY: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…. Albert Einstein, 1879-1955
Why would you build back with the same method that failed you, and expect different results next time?
Even when fitted with “hurricane-clips” a stick house can only withstand up to 120 mph winds. And it still has the sheetrock and insulation which will be ruined by the next storm. Of course, there will be no gas or electricity for heating next time too. Remember Hurricane Sandy was only a Category 1; the 1954 Hurricane Hazel was a 4.
ENERTIA® HURRICANE REPLACEMENT HOMES have solid Gluelam walls- Gluelams are the strongest assembly of wood known to man. Stronger, pound-for-pound than steel, impact-resistant, and resilient (they spring back). Enertia Homes have no sheetrock, no fiberglass insulation, and are self-heating without natural gas, propane or electricity. If your neighbors are willing to help, the house can be volunteer-built from our pre-cut, numbered kit, at reasonable cost. A fast, permanent, affordable solution by neighbors, for neighbors, within your neighborhood at the coast- where you all want to stay and live without worry about the “next time.”
The Enertia Building System was invented in North Carolina- we call it Hurricane Alley. By nature of the way NC projects eastward out into the Gulf Stream it has experienced more major storms than any other state. Including ice storms- the NC record for power outage was set by an ice storm which felled most of the overhead lines in our area. We were without power for 21 days- a record now exceeded by Sandy in parts of New Jersey and New York.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention. Thus we were motivated to design a storm resistant home, built of low cost native materials, that heated itself without fuel or electricity: www.EnergyWithoutOil.org
The problem was solved by “Enertia” which is both a new form of architecture, and a new form of energy.
Sometimes the solution requires just knowledge, and a different way of thinking. Is it really a choice when the other option is no-home-at-all after a hurricane or tornado event?
We have been building these homes in coastal NC for thirty years. Some have endured twelve major storms and all are standing, some in areas where the nearby stick homes have been gutted and rebuilt three times. After Hurricane Floyd FEMA officials were invited to a Genesis 2 Enertia Home near Kinston NC that had been flooded. The owner simply power-washed his walls, relaid his floor which had buckled, and moved back in. The other homes in his neighborhood were destroyed. One FEMA official crossed his arms, and said “If every house were built this way - we would be out of a job.”
When you live on a coastal plain, you expect and plan for flooding. It is inevitable, and will happen more than once- there have been cases of three “hundred-year” floods in one year. Coastal New York and New Jersey can learn from this. And don’t forget the odd October 2012 snowstorm which brought down leaf-laden trees and power lines.
This example, near New Bern NC, shows how we do it. The poured concrete lower-level (basement) is built on-grade, with a walk-out to the South.
Once the home is finished the three sides of the lower-level are bermed. Thus the main level is above the 100 year flood stage. All electrical circuits in the lower level are on their own panel located in the higher main level with an obvious shut-off handle. Glass is protected by low-cost corrugated metal roll down doors- the same kind you see in You-Store-It units. Many of these houses are Off-Grid, with batteries and PV, so they are not dependent on the overhead electrical lines.
Everything in the lower level is designed to take flooding, or be easily removable to the main level by the access shaft in the sunspace. Homeowners on Flood-prone sites may have a hoist in this shaft to quickly pull up furniture to the main level.
PREPARE FOR THE NEXT TIME...
To rebuild homes, in the same area, with the same method, and expect different results is madness. The coast is a wonderful place to live, and if you prepare properly to safely ride out the inevitable storms, in a strong, safe, secure, solid gluelam ENERTIA® house- life goes on at a far more comfortable level. You can anticipate, not fear, the next “big one”
NATURE PROVIDES ITS OWN SOLUTION
320 million trees were felled in Hurricane Katrina. Instead of being used most were burned or chipped. Had they, instead, been made into Gluelams all the homes destroyed in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi could have been replaced by permanent storm-resistant homes, plus enough for ten thousand more stockpiled in warehouses for Sandy. Nature provides the material, and energy (Hot air rises). All that’s needed is innovation, common-sense, and the will to think ahead.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Talk to your neighbors. Are they willing to help on your house, in exchange for your help on theirs? Gather photos of how your house and neighborhood was before the storm. Is your foundation intact- send us measurements and a photograph. If your site is south-facing you may be able to replace your house with a self-heating double shell Enertia Home. If not, simply rebuilding with Gluelams, can be up to ten times stronger than what you firstname.lastname@example.org