As we have seen over the past decade, massive climate events are mushrooming into everyday occurrences. In this excerpted session from the Westford Symposium on Building Science, Dr. Claudette Reichel shares what she has learned as "The Mold Queen" since helping her city, New Orleans, to recover from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
The Westford Symposium on Building Science is an invitation-only symposium featuring top experts as speakers and top-notch builders, architects, developers, product manufacturers, engineers, and scientists in the audience.
The description of Dr. Reichel's presentation from the official program:
Claudette Hanks Reichel is Professor Emeritus, Extension Housing Specialist and founder of LaHouse Resource Center at Louisiana State University.
90 percent of natural disasters in the USA involve flooding. Waiting for flood standards to wise up is just asking for more costly destruction and misery. How “couillon” is that?
Professor Reichel will cover how to build and renovate “so the good times can roll even when the floods take hold..”
The highlights of Dr. Reichel's presentation
- Billion-Dollar Flood Disasters have doubled in the last decade
- A home in a 100-year flood zone has an excellent chance of flooding before it is paid for
- Base Flood Elevations (BFE) are not a good guide
- Many, many houses that flood are NOT in designated flood zones.
- It is difficult to raise up a slab-on-grade brick home.
- Flood-hardy construction means building to recover quickly
- Flood-hardy material choices are relatively obvious
- "Wash and wear" flood-hardy prototypes have existed for years Flood-hardy crawlspaces are tricky but not impossible. There are two good options.
- A more recent flood-resistant design from Building Science Corporation
- Repairing a brick veneer slab home is challenging but doable.
The bottom line: Massive flooding has quadrupled in the last few decades with no sign of slowing down. You have two choices:
- Build smart today or
- Pay stupid tax tomorrow