Bautex Provides Flooding Solution for Library Rebuild After Hurricane Harvey

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey stalled over the greater Houston area for four days, producing historic amounts of rainfall and resulting in cat­a­stroph­ic flooding in over two-thirds of the area. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the Baldwin-Boettcher Library in Humble, Texas, north of Houston, was sig­nif­i­cant­ly damaged during the storm event. 

The library, located on the Mercer Botanic Gardens campus, was con­struct­ed within a flood plain and was inundated by five feet of water inside the building. According to Edward Melton, Harris County Public Library director, the library suffered $916,253 of damage to tech­nol­o­gy, books, furniture and supplies, and remained closed for about a year.



Orig­i­nal­ly, the team was thinking of relo­cat­ing the library to another site as a solution, but, due to nostalgic and sen­ti­men­tal reasons, many patrons asked for the library to remain in its current location. So, county officials decided to rebuild it, but this time, as a flood-resilient structure. 

Since the building could not be elevated or moved, officials met with the team at Col­lab­o­rate Archi­tects to come up with a plan for rebuild­ing Baldwin-Boettcher library that would account for the fact that flooding will happen again in the future. The building needed to be con­struct­ed with a flood-resistant design that would reduce the impact of water intrusion and costly damage to the walls and structure of the building. These design improve­ments would allow for the facility to return to service quickly after a storm event. 

In the search for inno­v­a­tive building materials that would help meet the require­ments for this resilient design, without impacting the project’s budget, archi­tects found and selected Bautex. 

The Bautex Wall System was a superb material choice for the flood-resistant exterior walls for this project. The system includes the Bautex Block and the Bautex Air and Moisture Barrier, which, together, create a moisture-resistant, durable wall that is highly resistant to mold and mildew.

Bautex is a rein­forced concrete con­struc­tion that does not degrade when wet and maintains its original per­for­mance even after getting wet during a flood. The Bautex Wall System has all the vital elements of a flood-resistant wall: The dura­bil­i­ty and strength to resist water intrusion during a flood, the resilience to allow for quick and easy surface cleaning after a flood without removal of materials, and the ability to continue to perform the same as when the building was orig­i­nal­ly con­struct­ed despite having expe­ri­ence flooding.

If we build back the same way, well shame on us because that doesn’t make any sense. So, we’re going to be rebuild­ing it, expecting the water is going to happen,” says Jim Nutter, interim director of Mercer Botanic Gardens. Source


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