Thermal barriers are extremely important when it comes to energy efficiency of a home. A typically coastal home is most likely using a fiberglass insulation as its primary thermal barrier. If these barriers become compromised due to flooding, they might not only need to be replaced, but you will have to gut your interior walls in the process. SURE HOUSE’s Passive House Standard is quite simple, keep air leaks out. The benefit of this is we are able to tape all exposed joints, gaps, and any other area susceptible to air infiltration, and in the process we automatically are able to reduce the smaller nooks water can leak into. SURE HOUSE also uses a rigid insulation on the interior and exterior of the house to optimize R-Values, as well as use an insulation that does not absorb or degrade when in contact with water.
The electrical in a typical coastal home can be all over the place. Wires and receptacles running along the floor. HVAC, water tanks, and breaker boxes running at levels that may be susceptible to water damage. SURE HOUSE takes this into account by acknowledging our FEMA AE Flood Zone. No Receptacle, or wire is below the AE Zone. All electrical devices use this flood zone as a marker, so if there is water infiltration into the home it is definitely out of harm’s way.
By looking at these prior construction methods we have been able to identify what storm resistant techniques have been successful and which are prone to damage. By coming up with innovative storm resistant solutions to the construction methods of a contemporary coastal home, we hope SURE HOUSE can be used as a learning tool for future designers and builders in flood prone areas.