Panel to Discuss Storm-Resistant Buildings: Fallout from Superstorm Sandy

The Building Resiliency Task Force, a New York City Panel created in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, will meet this summer to discuss ways to better prepare for future storms.  One question being asked is whether buildings can be designed to be storm-resilient.

A big portion of the damage from Superstorm Sandy was a result of flooding.  Flooding loads from a CAT event are not typically reflected in the building codes as they relate to the structural or architectural design.  However, many current codes are now restricting buildings from being built in flood zones to make buildings more “storm resilient.”  Furthermore, in relation to flooding, storm-resilient buildings would drastically change the look of structures.sandy1

From Hurricane Katrina to the Joplin, MO Tornado, Pie’s specialized catastrophe team is frequently retained for expert storm-damage claims assistance. Recovery efforts on the east coast continue to focus on the restoration of damaged housing, parks, utilities and infrastructure, transit systems, businesses.

Assisting on the claims side, our expertise has been heavily utilized to help determine the source of water (i.e. did the water originate from infiltration through the building envelope (roof or walls) or was the water due to flooding). Determining the root cause of the damage will be necessary as most owners’ insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding and owners must buy flood insurance separately as part of a FEMA managed program. While some owners are required to purchase separate flood insurance as part of their mortgage due to their location, other areas outside of these flood-prone areas commonly experience flooding during these large hurricane events.

 

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