Responding to Hurricane Harvey with Flood Resistant Walls
It has been just over 10 months since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast and dumped epic amounts of rain on Houston. Parts of the city saw more than 50 inches of rainfall, with close to one-third of the city flooded.
Building owners have suffered since then, with extensive damage to their structures, inventory, and business because of these flooding events. The architectural and engineering design community has been hard at work looking for and designing solutions to avoid or to mitigate damages caused by this type of disaster.
But not every building or structure can be moved or elevated for flood protection. Convenience stores and gas stations are next to impossible to elevate given the connection with the vehicles and customers they serve. So how does one remodel a convenience store so that it’s adequately protected and flood-resistant?
Choosing the Best Flood-Resistant Wall Assembly
Designers with Method Architecture were contracted for the remodel and redesign of a convenience store in Meyerland, TX that sustained flood damage during Hurricane Harvey.
The walls of the store needed replacement, after Harvey’s flooding left the structure damaged and contaminated with black water. The structure required a more durable and flood-resistant wall assembly, so the owners could reopen for business as quickly as possible and prepare for any future flooding events. The store owner and design team also wanted to keep as much of the existing building as possible to limit cost and waste.
The team at Method reached out to Bautex for assistance designing a flood resistant wall assembly using Bautex Block and Bautex Air and Moisture Barrier (Bautex AMB). The concrete structure of the Bautex Wall System is much stronger and more durable than metal or wood framing, and will give the store owner a hurricane- and flood-resistant solution to construction.
Steps to Building a Flood-Resistant Structure
In this build, the contractor will remove all of the existing metal studs, sheathing, sheetrock, and insulation from the building, leaving just the structural steel frame and the roof system.
Bautex Block is simple to work with and easily modifiable, allowing the contractor to integrate the Bautex wall into the existing steel structure. To begin the Bautex wall installation, rebar dowel reinforcing bars will be drilled and set into the existing concrete foundation to create the connection with the Bautex walls.
Once the contractor has stacked up the Bautex Block and installed the rebar both horizontally and vertically, concrete will be poured into the grid wall system. The Bautex Block and structural concrete will serve as the basis for the flood resistant wall assembly. In this case, the walls will be built up to 40-inches to stay above the maximum flood elevation, and then traditional light gauge metal framing will be installed to infill the rest of the wall.
Once the Bautex Blocks are stacked and poured, the last step is the application of the Bautex AMB fluid-applied air and moisture barrier. This creates a continuous water-resistant barrier to keep the walls dry in the event of a flood. This also makes cleaning up and sanitizing after a flood incredibly simple.
The contractor will seal the block to foundation joints on both the exterior and interior of the wall. The Bautex AMB will then be applied to the entire Bautex wall, interior and exterior as well as top of wall, while also extending down the face of the exterior foundation and onto the interior floor.
This design allows for quick and easy clean up after another flood. The Bautex AMB protects the structure, insulation, and enclosure from the toxic flood waters and can simply be washed down after the water recedes. The advantages to building flood resistant walls this way include speeding up the time it takes for the building to be reopened and mitigating the health hazards present with typical post-flood wall assemblies.
Rebuilding Texas Flood Zones With Confidence
With new Bautex walls, the remodel of the Meyerland convenience store will help get this small business back in operation sooner. If Texas sees more flooding this year and the store gets water inside, the clean up procedure will be drastically improved.
Thanks to the design team at Method and the Bautex Wall Assembly, the owner will have confidence that if another flood event happens his business will be protected for years to come.
Look for more updates on this project and to get more information on how Bautex can be the faster, simpler solution to your next project visit bautexsystems.com.