Stephen M Marchese
 
Stephen M Marchese
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An Architect's Disaster Safety Checklist

July 21, 2015 1:17 am

In the eyes of an architect, preparing your residence for a natural disaster requires a thorough understanding of the home’s structure. If you don’t know details relating to the construction of your home, the American Institute of Architects Disaster Assistance Committee recommends following this checklist:

1. Document your home before disaster strikes. Take photos of the inside and outside of your property and share with your insurance company prior to a natural disaster.

2. Become familiar with your home’s history. Seek out details like the age of your home, the type of framing used in construction, how recently the roof has been repaired or replaced, etc. This information will help guide you on what design changes or updates should be made before a disaster.

3. Prioritize inexpensive fixes and phase repairs, maintenance and retrofits so they are manageable. Use wind-resistant nailing patterns to secure roof sheathing

4. Communicate your building performance goals. Make your desire for storm-resistant and resilient design elements known to your contractor or architect from the outset of a project and include site selection, program and building life cycle in your conversations. Make sure that you are comfortable with their expertise in this area before proceeding with work.

5. Designate a safe room within your home
for certain hazards including tornadoes and earthquakes. Examples include a mud room, laundry room or even a powder room as space allows.

6. Design to meet your needs. Building codes are a life safety standard that affords minimal protection of property only. Hazardous conditions may not be up to date in local maps and regulations to reflect current realities and risk. A qualified architect can advise on additional measures to take.

Source: AIA.org

Published with permission from RISMedia.