A Tsunami-proof House

And a 7.8 earthquake and 85 mph winds

Jan 24, 2014
Outside Magazine

Washington’s Camano Island, home to about 13,000 residents, rests on one of the largest active faults in North America.

Back in 1820, the island lost a chunk off of its south end in a slide that triggered a 13-foot tsunami.

Should history repeat itself, at least one local will be prepared. Architect Dan Nelson of Designs Northwest Architects recently designed a house that can withstand not only waves up to eight-feet tall, but also a 7.8-scale earthquake, and 85-mph lateral winds.

The 3,140 square-foot concept house allows water to flow through the two main floors, which are raised nine feet above ground and supported by a steel frame and strategically placed pillars. In between, glass doors designed to break upon impact take the pressure off the skeleton in the event of a tsunami. The shattered doors will also allow water to flow through the house.

"If the building was a solid wall instead of columns filled in with glass doors, the whole thing could collapse under the momentum of the wave," Nelson told Smithsonian Magazine.

Not to mention, it's a pretty swanky looking house and everything is certified waterproof.

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