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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