Glass fiber composite structures have been developed in conjunction with storm resilient features in the SURE HOUSE. Manifesting in the form of operable shutters protecting the south facade, removable plugs around windows and doors, and exterior sheathing; these systems will create a waterproof barrier protecting the SURE House and allowing it to exist just above grade, rather than adopting FEMA regulations for raising structures above projected flood heights. Utilizing manufacture techniques sourced directly from structural qualities and durability of marine construction, glass fiber composite skins will minimize damages and allow for faster recovery from coastal flooding and storms.
Vacuum infusion will be the technique for manufacturing the majority of the glass fiber exterior elements. This process allows precise location and orientation of fiber and core reinforcement. Layering the glass fibers and core dry, then introducing a liquid resin system under vacuum generates a composite that is much stronger and stiffer than any of the individual components. This concept is very similar to placing steel rebar and pouring concrete, as one material works well in tension and the other in compression. The finial structure is uniform, waterproof, and capable of resisting impact to protect vulnerable areas of the house.
Sealing between composite sheathing panels will either be performed permanently with a structural adhesive, typically used below the waterline in marine applications. This will bond the panels together as well as create a seal that is impenetrable, protecting the underside and up to our designated flood elevation. This height can be adjusted based on given location and flood height regulations. I.E. if a house is constructed closer to a coastal area or in a lower elevation, composite sheathing can be fastened higher on the envelop to accommodate. Sealing between movable components and the house will be done through a series of continuous rubber gaskets, as would be the case in a marine hatch.
Finishing and installation controls have been designed to minimize manual processes for hardware and final placement on the SURE House. High compression core and through bolt locations are predetermined and spliced in, to create a continuous structure and reducing field work required. The majority this durable construction will be hidden, providing support from behind the exterior finishes, but in select locations, the beauty and functionality of the waterproof and debris resistant barrier of the SURE House glass fiber structure will be exposed showing its engineering and design intent.