The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 01:00cat

Flood-resistant buildings: a concept-project for the city of New York

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The proposed towers could survive 6ft(!) of sea level rise at Manhattan’s Pier 40

New York City seems to be vulnerable to flooding, with state projections estimating that sea levels will increase between 0.5 and 2 feet by 2050. Considering that much of New York State’s coast is highly developed and populated, this is a serious issue for engineers who need to find ways to build structures able to withstand environmental changes. The New York-based architecture firm DFA, or D Form A, has come up with a housing proposal that can survive 6ft (1.8m) of sea level rise. The complex they designed consists of 19 cylindrical apartment towers, wrapped in lattice facades with lots of vegetation. The towers, ranging anywhere from 96 to 455 feet in height, would be organized in 11 groups and be reinforced with steel. Several pods would also be created nearby to provide a buffer to protect against potential storm damage, while the entire development is expected to function as a floating island in the event of flooding. “Beyond 2050, as regular flooding begins to engulf the coastline as we know it, the landscape deck transforms into a floating island with new pathways built to connect the evolved wetland ecosystem to Manhattan,” said the designers.

The towers could host 450 apartments as well as recreational and commercial spaces, with the living units in the high-rises being set 60 inches above expected storm surge levels. The pavilions could also be connected with each other via a set of pathways; the lower pathway could be used until 2050, as risen water levels are expected to submerge it by then, while the second -elevated this time- pathway would act as a new way to get around the facility. The complex is proposed to be built on Manhattan’s Pier 40, which extends about 250 meters over the Hudson River, an area that currently functions as a football field and a car parking facility. 

Source: World Economic Forum 

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