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Building a home in a typhoon prone area


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Headshot

Some forces of nature can be built against (earthquakes and cyclonic storms fall into that list). Some things can't. Things coming from outer space (asteroids, comets, cosmic rays, etc.) fall into the can't list, as do volcanoes and tsunamis. It is best to just avoid those things, if possible. If you can't avoid them, then just remember the nuclear attack drills from back in the 1950's. Sit down on the floor under a table, put your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye.

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Concrete survives..most everything else does not...class A wood framed roofs seemed to survive better than steel framed roofs...personally I would go for a concrete roof...having said concrete survive

I think I'd consider one of those shipping container houses anchored to a cement slab.

Part of our house in Guam is made of containers. It's anchored down to cement pylons. Also secured roof with turnbuckles and wire rope. Ain't the prettiest, but no typhoon or earthquake has caused any

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Mandingo

All good suggestions and ideas, thank you.

 

The dome is probably the best design but my wife would never go for that, I know......but she has to live there too and be happy. A hexagon design is second best design but she wouldn't go for that either. Thinking about just a simple square one story floor plan and hip roof with 18" overhang. One thing I did see in my research that surprised me, but makes sense, is many sites now recommend entry doors open "out" instead of the traditional opening "in". Says this will help prevent "blow outs" and water from entering the unit.Not sure how hard it would be to open a door in a strong wind if they open out. 

 

 

Our original plan was to wait to build another better home after my wife bought a condo but things have changed, she spent her money lol. Now we are planning the retirement place and something so looking for ideas for when we start. One thing I am buying in the next couple months is a 20' dry container to store the mixer, hollow block maker and tools in. Plan is once done with the container to put this behind the house and use as an emergency shelter so if the house fails we have that to go to. 

 

One thing I did notice after Yolanda is no matter how strong your home is if your neighbors home roof come off and slams into yours your going to lose your roof anyway.  

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sugbu777

 

 

I did see in my research that surprised me, but makes sense, is many sites now recommend entry doors open "out" instead of the traditional opening "in".

 

Many of the entry doors in Guam do indeed open out, as we are in "Typhoon Alley". It does make sense.

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Dafey

Many of the entry doors in Guam do indeed open out, as we are in "Typhoon Alley". It does make sense.

 

Same in Florida where Hurricanes are prevalent. Surprisingly, the hinge pin is on the outside which would lead you to believe a burglar could remove the pin and open your door...however, there is an internal flange that is seated inside the hinge plates preventing this if the door is locked closed. 

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Salty Dog

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thebob

 

 

What are the key things someone building should do when building a home in an area prone to typhoons? 

 

Consult an engineer not an architect for the structure. All you need the architect to do is your floor plan and details. Take these drawings to an engineer and give him the parameters that you want to protect against.

 

The system here is that architects just cobble together a structure that passes code. An engineer signs off on it. Then the contractor builds something that looks the same but is easier/cheaper for him to build.

 

Wooden houses are fine as long as they are built properly. Concrete houses are often overbuilt, because builders don't really understand the properties of concrete.

 

Design is everything.

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PhilsFan

 

  1. Use screws to secure the roofing
  2. Use hurricane (typhoon) straps / clips to secure the entire house (walls/roof) to the foundation
  3. Build in a location that isn’t subject to the full force of typhoon winds
  4. Build with a simple design to avoid concentration of pressure
  5. Build the rood at an angle of 30-45 degrees to prevent it being lifted by the wind
  6. Avoid wide roof overhangs; separate the veranda structure from the house
  7. Reinforce the bracing in the structure; strengthen walls and joints/junctions to increase stiffness
  8. Plant trees around the house for wind breaks, but not too close as to fall on the house and damage it
  9. Use a 4-sided roof (hip roof)
  10. Install tempered glass and solid wood exterior doors
  11. Install shutters on windows

 

 

Very useful list Mikala.

 

I would add that using earth-bag construction might be the safest and cheapest option. They don't have to look like "hobbit" houses...conventional designs work too, easily adding curves to your structural walls (design for storms).

 

Fireproof, slightly elastic, better compression characteristics than concrete, bug-proof, breathable, Cooler than concrete, highly earthqake resistant..(look at Nepal).

They are flood-resistant and extremely cheap to build. Combined with a Hip-roof and roof tie-downs on a well-planned site and you should have a house that will last centuries.

 

This is what the filipinos should be building for themselves instead of the low-quality concrete which costs more to build than earth-bag technology. 

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richard_ost

 

 Concrete houses are often overbuilt, because builders don't really understand the properties of concrete.

 

I've thought the same for a long time. But maybe this is a good thing (and maybe done on purpose?) since there rarely are guarantees about the quality of the concrete. Even when in the 1st world they have problems with quality control, just imagine a developing country...

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Headshot

I've thought the same for a long time. But maybe this is a good thing (and maybe done on purpose?) since there rarely are guarantees about the quality of the concrete. Even when in the 1st world they have problems with quality control, just imagine a developing country...

 

If all you had to worry about was typhoons, then attention to detail on concrete construction wouldn't be so important, but in the Philippines we also need to worry about major earthquakes as well. Therefore, things like steel reinforcement and concrete mix become critical. Pretty much the only way you can ensure quality here is through good design and specs and constant supervision during construction to make sure that the design and specs are followed to the letter.

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oztony

If all you had to worry about was typhoons, then attention to detail on concrete construction wouldn't be so important, but in the Philippines we also need to worry about major earthquakes as well. Therefore, things like steel reinforcement and concrete mix become critical. Pretty much the only way you can ensure quality here is through good design and specs and constant supervision during construction to make sure that the design and specs are followed to the letter.

 

Recently on the forum there was mention about concrete strength in a discussion about a unit /condo/mall development and ..wow.. the piers and structural foundation was 20mpa 

 

In Aus,  that is footpath strength , 

 

Yeah , definitely supervise but you still have no guarantee on anything much in the PI....

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thebob

 

 

Recently on the forum there was mention about concrete strength in a discussion about a unit /condo/mall development and ..wow.. the piers and structural foundation was 20mpa 

 

That doesn't matter as long as the structure is designed for 20mpa. The piers will be larger than using a higher compressive strength concrete, but the steel will be less critical because of that. Everything is a compromise.

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but my wife would never go for that,

 

The problem with most wives is, and this is no dig at yours, unless she is a structural engineer, she will have no clue as to why you would want to construct an "odd looking" residence within the zone you intend to build. They just want to live in a nice home, a pretty home. They don't care if it would blow down in a 100 kph wind.

 

I hope to start construction on my home here in February. While it isn't necessary to build any particular type of structure - we do not have any of the natural disasters that easily occur in the Philippines, I am going to build it with our safety and security in mind. 

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Headshot

Recently on the forum there was mention about concrete strength in a discussion about a unit /condo/mall development and ..wow.. the piers and structural foundation was 20mpa 

 

In Aus,  that is footpath strength , 

 

Yeah , definitely supervise but you still have no guarantee on anything much in the PI....

 

For that reason, it is much better if you specify that concrete is to be pre-mixed and delivered by an established concrete company (such as Betanval or CSI) than to allow it to be mixed on-site by the workers. However, you must first find a contractor who will go along with that because most are more used to on-site mixing. On-site mixing leads to poor sand-gravel-cement mixes that almost always contain too much water. In order to use pre-mix, contractors must plan their work such that forms are in-place and planned well enough that full loads can be poured at one time. That kind of planning is not in the skill-set of a lot of contractors here. They are more used to piece-mealing projects together one small bit at a time.

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Kabisay-an gid
On 1/5/2017 at 3:10 AM, hyaku said:

Well after 40 year experience of living over here I would have to say that typhoons here are kids stuff compared with Japan.

When Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda made landfall in Eastern Samar, Philippines - it was and still is the most powerful tropical cyclone to ever make landfall anywhere in the world, on record.

If I were going to build a home in the Philippines, I would most certainly have locking roll down shutters installed on doorways and windows. They're very useful for both storm and security purposes.

Manual%20Rolling%20Shutters%20down(2).jp

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