Cory6188
Topic Author
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Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:15 am

I was reading the thread about the logic (or lack thereof) of rebuilding New Orleans in the same spot that exists right now, and it got me thinking. I have a beach house on Long Beach Island, NJ, a barrier island off the southeast coast connected by a causeway to the rest of the state. Any new home built today on the island must be built on pilings. There are still many older homes that are only a few feet above ground level, but all of the new ones are 6 feet off the ground, if not higher.

While clearly, Long Beach Island isn't New Orleans by any stretch of the imagination, is it even a possibility to do something like that?

For any of you who don't know what a house on pilings looks like, here's a pic (sorry for the tiny size):



As you can see, if there was any flooding, the only thing that might have to be replaced is the stairs - as long as the pilings remain securely anchored in the ground, the house is totally sound.
 
TedTAce
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:14 am

You see a lot of houses like this in the keys of Florida. Only problem is when debbris like errant boats take out the pilings  Sad Not a horrible idea, let's see what they do...
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:34 pm

If you have to build a house on toothpicks, it obviously DOESN'T BELONG THERE.

Duh!

Mark
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:07 pm

This could be viable in NO if you could get around the fact that there is no way to maintain the historical architecture of the city for a house built in this way.

However, in less protected areas like coastal MS and parts of AL it wouldn't do any good. For example, take a house at 10 ft MSL and then throw a 30 ft storm surge like in Gulfport/Biloxi. This typical situation would require 20 ft pilings which is a lot more than the 6 ft -12 ft typical for this type of construction. The bracing requirements to stabilize the pilings under a coastal windload would be prohibitively expensive.
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Mikey711MN
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:26 pm

Also on the note of expense, the mobilization of the pile-driver is often the driving cost in determining the economy of pile-supported structures. That is, the number of piles (typically quantified in feet of piling driven) tends to be dwarfed by the equipment needed to do the work on the site.

Is it a solution? Sure. There are plenty that a civil engineer could apply. But the economics of many of them just aren't feasible, and I'm afraid putting entire neighborhoods essentially on stilts is an example of one of them.

-Mike
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
 
pilotsmoe
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:31 pm

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 2):
If you have to build a house on toothpicks, it obviously DOESN'T BELONG THERE.

It's in NJ. No hurricanes here  Yeah sure
 
AGC525
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:28 pm

There's houses like that in the Outer Banks, in North Carolina. Not a bad idea, obiously it works since they've been building them like that for decades.
American Aviation: From Kitty Hawk to the Moon in 66 years!
 
Cory6188
Topic Author
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:03 pm

Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 4):
But the economics of many of them just aren't feasible, and I'm afraid putting entire neighborhoods essentially on stilts is an example of one of them.

If it's feasible in NJ, I don't see why it isn't possible in New Orleans. At least 50% of the houses on Long Beach Island are now on pilings, and that number is only growing as old houses are knocked down and new ones are built. If for some reason the whole island was built that way I read in an island newspaper that the local governments predict that by 2020, all of the buildings on the island will be above sea level. It's not exactly a hard process - pilings are driven into the ground, and the house is built on them using the pilings as a foundation. Actually, the pilings can be put in the ground faster than concrete blocks can.

It's not such a bad idea.
 
cptkrell
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:21 pm

Pilotsmoe wrote; "It's NJ. No hurricanes here."

Guess you don't remember the flooding that Hurricane Floyd brought to NJ? Probably don't remember the NJ close calls from Gloria in '85 and Bob in '91 or the devastating floods of Agnes in '72, either?

On the issue of pilings, I wonder if the outdated gambling laws in LA requiring the casinos to be "floating" will be readdressed in the future. Some of these structures are monsters but are still no match for Mother Nature as seen how some were swept away and deposted inland atop other structures seemingly quite easily. Regards...Jack
all best; jack
 
Mikey711MN
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:55 pm

Cory, with all due respect, I'm fully aware of how piled foundations are constructed. But what is economical in Long Beach Island, NJ is not necessarily so in New Orleans, LA despite the relative need being the same. To that end, economics of construction is usually dictated by results found in a quantified cost-benefit analysis, and therein lies the difference.

Having checked out a handful of websites about Long Beach Island--not having been there myself--I would argue that it probably enjoys a higher median real estate value than New Orleans ($87,000 IIRC from some random news report I've seen in the last few days), which is a good metric in the "benefit" category. Therefore, if LBI's real estate values are, say, double that of New Orleans, there is that much more padding, if you will, to determine whether a construction method is feasible.

Now I have no hard data on houses constructed on piles, but if it costs $100,000 to build it where this house will only realize a value of $87,000 in New Orleans and $170,000 in Long Beach Island, it is clear that constructing in New Orleans with this method is, again, uneconomical.

There are certainly other variables, Cory, that dictate economical construction, but again, the key point that I'm trying to make is that either ignoring those other factors or flatly disregarding the disparity in realized benefits between the two situations, you are prone to make some invalid conclusions about construction economy.

Regards,
-Mike
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:28 pm

Traditional houses in the Philippines are built on bamboo stilts, especially in areas likely to be flooded.


The heigth of the stilts varies from region to region, in some places the are about two meters high.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Cory6188
Topic Author
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RE: Using Pilings For Buildings In New Orleans

Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:32 am

Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 9):
--I would argue that it probably enjoys a higher median real estate value than New Orleans

You make a valid point - one that I hadn't considered. I pulled the picture of that house above off of the Jersey Shore MLS.

The asking price?

$760,000, and it will most likely go for higher than that, with the way that real estate runs in the area.

The cost of building a house on LBI is far, far less than what the actual building is worth, so I now understand how the situation differs in New Orleans.

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