July 8, 2007


Given what happened in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, changes in the way we build are needed. Looking to key sustainability concepts of durability and energy efficiency, new flood resistant design concepts were developed. A systems engineering approach was used, that considered all aspects of house design, to develop a house plan that will make these new design concepts reality. Durability upgrades affected the structural requirements, water and vapor management, and material choice. While these upgrades result in an increase in the initial cost of the house, material use and energy efficiency strategies were examined to offset a portion of the initial cost, and provide a means to pay back the initial investment over time.