The Tsunami House in Camano Island, Washington looks beautiful, but that’s not what makes it special.
“This home was designed with the most stringent disaster FEMA building codes and it’s incredibly safe,” said architect Dan Nelson of Designs Northwest Architects. These are the kinds of things one must consider when building in a high-risk flood area.
The project was started in 2006 and completed last summer.
The homeowners lived in a cabin on this 30-feet by 30-feet area before designers cleared the land and began the 7-year project.
The waterfront home has beautiful views of the Puget Sound but is located in an area prone to earthquakes, severe winds, and flooding.
Dubbed the Flood Room, the lower level has walls that are designed to break during a water surge. 'This level is made entirely out of waterproof materials and furnished with durable outdoor furniture,' Nelson said.
FEMA building codes requires this home to be elevated on nine 2-feet-thick concrete columns in order for flood water to pass through.
'This part of the house is designed to take the brunt of any storm,' Nelson said. FEMA codes require the main living areas to be above this portion of the home.
Here is the beautiful 887-square-foot main living area which is raised 9 feet from ground level for safety.
The master bedroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen are all located on this second floor in compliance with FEMA building regulations.
The wide fireplace is set in a wave-inspired plaster panel. The large aluminium framed windows offer sweeping views of the coast.
'A team of five architects, engineers, and designers brought the plans of this project to life,' Nelson said.
'We had to run all of the electrical, heating ventilation, and plumbing 5 feet above ground level,' Nelson said. Elevating the equipment helps prevent extensive damage in the event of a storm.
A large sand filter drain was constructed and then hidden by a sun deck. From the road, concrete and wood barriers block views to the 3-foot-high sun deck.
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