1/05/2006

Looking to the Future

It's going to take awhile to rebuild the 65,000 homes that were destroyed in Mississippi by Hurricane Katrina. Right now, we in Gulfport, Biloxi, Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay. St, Louis, Waveland and other cities have choices to make. What is the Coast going to look like when the rebuilding begins in earnest? Are we going to rely on old ways of building or will we look to the future and implement sound buildings that can hold up and take into account a massive storm surge?

There are many plans floating around as to how the Coast will look in the future. Some of them seem very unrealistic. But I recently saw a new technology that can build homes out of steel and concrete. These homes can be produced at a rate of six a day with a crew of 30. It takes into account the potential for storm surges by having a garage on the ground floor and the living space on top of it. It also promises to be affordable to those who make living wages. This technology has already been used in Key West FL and those structures held up well during the 4 hurricanes that have hit.

There's a project called Restart the Gulf Coast that hopes to bring this technology to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It promises that with just 6 crews, 5,000 homes can be rebuilt in a year's time. Even at that rate it will take 13 years to rebuild the homes lost. But in looking over the site, it seems that this might be an option worth looking into.

Something new needs to be done. The buildings created by this technology are attractive and well built. It remains to be seen how affordable they would really be.

In another development, a Mississippi based company has come up with a pre-fabricated cottage that could replace FEMA trailers while homes are being rebuilt. I am less sure about this idea. The cottages are only 300 sq feet and coast $25,000.00. It doesn't seem like they would be much roomier than the FEMA trailers. The only advantage I can see for replacing the FEMA trailers with these cottages is that the people living in them would not have to worry about giving up them up after 18 months.

felis left this comment at another post:
In many places in Oz we have some kind of earth wall systems, and dunes where also shrubs, and other green things are planted to hold it together.
They serve double purpose (I think); preserve the beaches and take some impact in case the ocean gets "“angry"”.


While this has been tried at a few places along the beach and was nosuccessfulul during Katrina, it's worth looking into. But instead of having a buffer zone like the one in the quote directly on the beach, if it was moved across Hwy 90, it might have some very goobenefitsts. The first and most obvious of course is that it would be a buffer between the homes and businesses and any raging seas. The second is that it would fit into with the character of thappearancece of the way the Coast looked before. Since the majority of homes and businesses no longer exist on the 66 miles that face the beach, now is the time to consider an idea such as this. The buffer could also serve a beautiful park area.

There are so many options open at this time. A lot of consideration needs to be taken into account so that no longer will we be confronted with the loss of so many homes and the Coast can truly be rebuilt better and stronger. In the rush to rebuild, serious planning must not be overlooked that can reduce the cost of future storms.

4 Comments:

Blogger MissingLink said...

Seawitch,
These homes can be produced at a rate of six a day with a crew of 30.

How do these houses look like?
I am afraid of any projects, which could make the whole area look so ..unatractive.

1:17 PM  
Blogger MissingLink said...

In the rush to rebuild, serious planning must not be overlooked that can reduce the cost of future storms

Exactly.
And also not to compromise the quality of the new developments.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

felis,

The link to Restart the Gulf Coast has a vdeo of what the houses and apartments would look like. They are very attractive.


Tough standards need to be employed.

1:27 PM  
Blogger MissingLink said...

OK,
I am just about to follow your link.

3:14 PM  

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