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Elevated, Flood-Proof 'Resilient House' Headed for Rockaways

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The Resilient House, designed by Canadian architecture firm Sustainable.TO, stands seven feet above the ground, has a flood-proof foundation?and the materials for building it cost less than $50,000. It's also the New York winner of the American Institute of Architects' Designing Recovery contest, held in conjunction with Architecture for Humanity as well as rebuilding organizations Make It Right, founded by Brad Pitt after Hurricane Katrina, and the St. Bernard Project. The competition asked design teams to come up with innovative storm-resistant housing that could be easily built after natural disasters, with hurricane sufferers in New York, New Orleans, and Joplin, Mo. in mind. Even though the organizers did not promise to actually build any of the winning designs, sponsor Dow Building Solutions and the four groups behind the contest want to work together with local groups in each of the locations to bring the renderings to reality. All that means we could see one of Sustainable.TO's bright yellow bungalows in the Sandy-battered Rockaways.

Back to the Resilient House: There are few internal partitions and it's energy-efficient. The whole thing is angled toward the sun. The split roof also plays a role, allowing for more windows?and hence more entry points for sunlight, as evidenced by the diagram above. The residence is heavily insulated and temperature-controlled to the point that it needs no furnace and only minimal air-conditioning. Aluminum slats define the exterior, though designers say they can be replaced by wooden ones if Queens residents aren't into metal siding. One Rockaway resident, in fact, told the Daily News: "The winner might work for young folks, but I prefer a Victorian." Well, if it keeps the storm surge at bay...
· The Resilient House [Sustainable.TO]
· "Designing Recovery" Competition Award Recipients Selected [AIA]
· A Look at the Latest Stormproof Houses Blessed by the AIA [Curbed National]
· All Hurricane Sandy coverage [Curbed]
· All Rockaway coverage [Curbed]