Residential Design

VOL3 2019

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Unbreakable For responsible professionals, there's no doubt that climate change is here already and destined to worsen the effects of nature's dark side in the days ahead. Lorcan knew he could surmount the issues that had plagued this problem site to this point, but he also understood he needed to bolster it against a precarious future as well. "Our client's perspective and ours is always, 'how do we deal with the future?' We're very cautious of that in how we design," he explains. "We want to make sure that if, 20 or 30 years from now, the sand has washed away from the beach that the foundation of the house is still intact. And the way we ended up building it, it may be the only thing left in place." To ensure that future, the team elected to install a caisson foundation, even though one was not required by code. Used for bridges, dams, and ship repair, it's ideal for high water locations. "We had to overlay a sea wall, a caisson foundation, and raise the building 20 feet above the sand and ocean," he explains. "Even simple storms create wave thrusts, and the nature of storms is becoming significantly more robust. So, first we had to understand the wave uprush issue, and that helped us determine the highest breaking wave elevation. The engineer recommended drilled, cast-in- place piles for their bearing and uplift capabilities. Existing soil was porous residual, so we had to go through that and drill below to unweathered bedrock. We ultimately went down 7 or 8 feet into the bedrock, and probably about 30 feet down overall." The sea wall was another tight fit on the narrow, 22-foot- wide site. "Our wave rush study required a bulkhead and to return the bulkheads on the sides. The projected wave uprush limit will be 12 feet upward toward the Pacific Coast High- way. We returned it to 20 feet. We also had to return the walls to protect the leach field for the septic system." 49 VOL. 3, 2019 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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