Hurricane Isaac is lashing New Orleans, currently pushing flood waters over a rural levee south of the city. Authorities say a storm surge driven by Isaac has pushed water over the top of an 18-mile stretch of levee in a thinly populated part of Plaquemines Parish.
It was exactly 7 years ago today when Hurricane Katrina pounded New Orleans. Isaac is now doing much of the same. That’s why residents say it’s time, once again, to re-examine the methods used to construct homes along the Gulf Coast.
In 2005, Katrina reminded residents of the frailty of traditional stick-build homes. They don’t protect against high winds and are unable to handle floodwaters. But developers say nearly seven years later, these types of homes are still being built.
ForeverHome is trying to change the architectural landscape of the region. The homebuilder specializes in residences for the Gulf Coast region of the United States. It uses innovative engineering to build homes that can withstand the damage caused by severe weather. ForeverHome says their houses are environmentally sustainable and also insurable.
Many outsiders would question why city planners and residents would continue erecting traditional stick-build homes, especially after witnessing the destruction caused by Katrina.
John Nagy of ForeverHome explains, “It really comes down to tradition and price. The Gulf Coast is an historic region filled with world-renowned architecture; most residents think it would be a shame to take away from the tradition of the area by building new, modern-looking homes. And while the majority of residents would undoubtedly rather live in a home built to stand up to hurricanes and storm surges, most think that such homes would be too expensive to build in the areas most affected by these storms.”
ForeverHome’s Joe Rogge says his company’s design solves both of those arguments and gives residents a hurricane and storm-surge-resistant home in the process.
“ForeverHome is a traditional, shotgun-style New Orleans home that is built entirely, from the foundation to the roof, out of reinforced precast concrete. It is constructed to withstand hurricane-force winds, dynamic forces caused by floods and impact from debris with little or no damage,” Rogge says. “And, we can build complete, move-in ready homes with finished interiors for as little as $175,000.”
Rogge also says that the ForeverHome can be fully insured at national average premiums.