Architect Freeport

 

WILLIAM HAMILTON ARTHUR ARCHITECT, INC. (WHAA) MIAMI— AA26003053


Nature has no mind, it has no animosity.
It is capable of a destruction and equilibrium that we can neither control or understand.
Nature destroys buildings and in doing, so often turns against itself.
We are a Miami Architecture firm that designs responsibly.
We work to minimize these impacts on South Florida’s un-built environment.

We are a 3rd-generation firm for Miami Architecture.
We design storm-resistant homes, schools, restaurants and stores in High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ) that are Impact-rated. Our perspective in this regard is these homes should be environmentally-sensible, and energy-independent.

As Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas, Freeport and Great Abaco, first-responder efforts are currently underway to provide some immediate short-term relief to victims of the catastrophic storm.

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The State of Florida first mandated statewide building codes during the 1970s at the beginning of the modern construction boom. The first law required all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce one of the four state-recognized model codes known as the “state minimum building codes.” During the early 1990s a series of natural disasters, together with the increasing complexity of building construction regulation in vastly changed markets, led to a comprehensive review of the state building code system. The study revealed that building code adoption and enforcement was inconsistent throughout the state and those local codes thought to be the strongest proved inadequate when tested by major hurricane events. The consequences of the building codes system failure were devastation to lives and economies and a statewide property insurance crisis. The response was a reform of the state building construction regulatory system that placed emphasis on uniformity and accountability.
The 1998 Florida Legislature amended Chapter 553, Florida Statutes (FS), Building Construction Standards, to create a single state building code that is enforced by local governments. As of March 1, 2002, the Florida Building Code, which is developed and maintained by the Florida Building Commission, supersedes all local building codes. The Florida Building Code is updated every three years and may be amended annually to incorporate interpretations and clarifications.

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This raised residence in the Shorecrest Neighborhood uses Concrete Cantilevers to shade the exterior windows & walls― a technique we learned through our association with mid-century modernist Igor B. Polevitzky.

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We provide Construction Documents for Residential New Construction, Additions or Renovations, Retail Build-outs, Corporate Design, Historic Preservation of Miami Modern Architecture (MiMo) or Traditional Mediterranean throughout Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and South Florida.
Site & Project Planning. Unusual or Complex Permitting situations, Certifications requiring Special Research or Presentation. We are committed to the built and un-built Environment, and a Carbonfree® Carbon-Neutral business through Carbonfree.org

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SECTION 1603 OF THE FLORIDA BUILDING CODE (FBC) FOR HURRICANE-RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION

requires buildings be designed to meet one of the two minimum design speeds. The Ultimate design wind speed, Vult, (3-second gust), or Nominal design wind speed, Vasd, as determined in accordance with Section 1609.3.1 and wind exposure. These below figures for Hurricane Resistant Construction Types are listed in listed in miles per hour (mph).

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FIGURE 1609.3(1) FROM THE FBC SECTION FOR HIGH-VELOCITY HURRICANE ZONES DEPICTING ULTIMATE DESIGN WIND SPEEDS, VULT, FOR RISK CATEGORY II BUILDINGS AND OTHER STRUCTURES

This diagram is useful for determining the total wind speed a Type structure is expected to endure for a Category 5 Major Hurricane. This category contains all buildings and structures not specifically classified as conforming to another category. The majority of structures such as residential, Hurricane Resistant Homes are included in this category.

  • Risk Category II Buildings and Structures: 175 mph in Miami-Dade County

 

 

FIGURE 1609.3(2) FROM THE FBC SECTION FOR HIGH-VELOCITY HURRICANE ZONES DEPICTING ULTIMATE DESIGN WIND SPEEDS, VULT, FOR RISK CATEGORY III AND IV BUILDINGS AND OTHER STRUCTURES

This category includes buildings and structures that could pose a substantial risk to human life in case of damage or failure., or Essential Facility buildings or structures. Structures under this category Hurricane-Resistant Construction Type include:

  • Buildings that house a large number of persons in one place such as theaters, lecture halls, and dining halls.
  • Buildings where persons have limited mobility or ability to escape to a safe haven in the event of failure such as grade schools, prisons, and small healthcare facilities.
  • Buildings associated with utilities required to protect the health and safety of a community. Such as power-generating stations, water treatment, and sewage treatment plants.
  • Buildings housing hazardous substances, such as explosives or toxins which if released in quantities determined by the authority having jurisdiction could endanger the surrounding community.
  • Buildings and structures not included under Risk Category IV but have a potential to cause a substantial economic impact and/or mass disruption of day-to-day civilian life.
  • Risk Category III and IV Buildings and Structures: 186 mph in Miami-Dade County.

FIGURE 1609.3(3) FROM THE FBC SECTION FOR HIGH-VELOCITY HURRICANE ZONES DEPICTING ULTIMATE DESIGN WIND SPEEDS, Vult, FOR RISK CATEGORY I BUILDINGS AND OTHER STRUCTURES

This risk category includes greenhouses that are occupied for growing plants on a production or research basis, sheds, outhouses farm-related buildings that do not qualify for FBC exemptions but still without public access shall be permitted to be unprotected. FBC B1620.2 more-specifically defines expected wind speed for this building category as

  • Risk Category I Buildings and Structures: 165 mph in Miami-Dade County

RECOMMENDATIONS IN HURRICANE-RESISTANT DESIGN

We work to create buildings with Structural and Energy Independence. Municipalities such as Pinecrest and South Miami already require specific forms of Energy Independence for new homes, such as installation of Solar Arrays, or emergency generators.

These below figures for Hurricane Resistant Construction depict previous designs.

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1. Steel Column structure lifts the inhabitable volumes over the flood zone, free-board or desired height to clear as much wind-borne debris at the surface as possible.

2. Inhabitable volumes.

3. Stormwater evacuation culvert and trench systems remove rainwater away from the structure and foundation elements as quickly as possible.

4. Open-Air atrium distorts prevailing wind into smaller, less stable volumes making outdoor access less dangerous and protecting exposed methods of egress from wind-borne debris.

5. Steel Storm louvers. Permanently-fixed louvers allow light and wind to enter during normal operation, while placing a “speed-limit” on wind during emergency operation.

 

6. Reinforced masonry with stucco surfaces. Wood surfaces often create niches, gaps and edges producing noise and unstable surfaces.

7. As the air rushes over the eaves and rooftop, vortices of unstable air create noise, vibration and buffeting.

8. Zone of Negative pressure develops, building powerful uplift over the roof surfaces.

9. Carefully-selected Wind-breaks and Landscape buffers through vegetation.

Publications & Client References

“The few architects of today who design and build fine architecture, achieve these accomplishments through experience, dedication and sacrifice to the project, the client and the environment.”