Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stilts and sea level rise

If your house is on stilts, the water from a storm surge or a flood just flows under you, which is the idea behind the cool house featured in the Independent (UK). Designed by Alison Brooks, the Salt House in Essex is designed to handle even the highest tide. Even in the wilting real estate market, I'm a sucker for cool architectural designs, and this one definitely qualifies. The stilts can even be extended, so that you can accordion upwards if you need to, apparently.

This informative piece also introduced me to the notion of "dry-proofing," or installing wiring and other water-sensitive systems where they can dry out most easily after a flood. It's a simple idea, but the right location could save plenty of heartache after an immersion. I have shuddersome memories of helping a colleague clean up their utility room after a flood, and how depressed she was for months afterwards. Her wiring was never the same again.

Salt House is located near a beach, but the same idea could be easily applied to flood plains.

Instead of walkers on stilts, houses -- photo of the Fremont Fair Summer Solstice parade in Seattle by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons

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