ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 48

BUILDING SCIENCES
COLUMN
Joseph W. Lstiburek
A.
B.
Site Grading Slopes Ground Away From Building Over Entire Perimeter
Raised Slab
C.
FIGURE 1A, FIGURE 1B AND FIGURE 1C All flood risk is reduced
when the slope of the land directs water away from the
building and when the building floors are located above the
base flood elevation (BFE). Raised slab and elevated pier
foundations tend to be more robust and lower risk than slab
foundations and crawlspace foundations.
Site Grading Slopes Ground Away
From Building Over Entire Perimeter
Designing for Floods*
BY JOSEPH W. LSTIBUREK, PH.D., P.ENG., FELLOW ASHRAE
The best way to design for floods is to build where you don't get floods. Yeah, right. We
have gotten pretty good at predicting flood risk. The Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) has identified Special Flood Hazard Areas.† We just don't pay much
attention and build there anyway. So if I can't convince you not to build there, I will
try to help you reduce your risk. The new buzzword for this is " resiliency. " And yes,
we were here before-more than once ( " Rebuilding After Katrina, " ASHRAE Journal,
November 2005, and " Rebuilding Houston, " ASHRAE Journal, November 2017).
A bit of background. Three common types of flood
events exist:
* Fluvial (river) floods;
* Pluvial (flash floods and surface water) floods; and
* Coastal (storm surge) floods.
For all of them, the basis of flood resistance or resiliency
includes the following:
* Elevate structures;
* Protect service equipment;
* Ensure that flood waters enter and exit the house;
and
* Design and construct building assemblies that are
able to get wet during a flood event, readily cleaned and
subsequently dried.
*I like to say, " Don't get hit by a wave, don't get too wet, and make sure you dry. " The " Don't get hit by a wave " part comes from the folks
at the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). I sat through a bunch of their presentations in the early 2000s, and they warned us
relentlessly about how powerful a wave is. I shamelessly have been using their saying ever since. IBHS inspired me to add the " Don't get
too wet " and " Make sure you dry " pieces.
†FEMA's Special Flood Hazard Areas can be found on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) at https://www.fema.gov/flood-maps
48
ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org J U LY 2021
https://www.fema.gov/flood-maps http://www.ashrae.org

ASHRAE Journal - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - July 2021

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 3
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ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover4
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