Solutions to Shoreline Construction
LandTech helps to provide solutions to the future challenges of shoreline construction. Challenges to shoreline construction are arising as existing homes along the valuable coastline of Fairfield County are improved and developed, and LandTech is working hard to provide solutions. As homeowners hope to retain the charm of living on these exclusive shorelines, much more needs to be considered than the typical practical and aesthetic desires for a residence.
Once the floodwaters of Hurricane Irene and Super-storm Sandy subsided, focus was clearly directed toward making homes along the shoreline (and landward) safer for both homeowners and the surrounding communities. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) land-use policies and building standards form the underlying basis for this new architecture.
In some cases, civil and structural engineers are the first team engaged by the homeowner who is contemplating a new home or substantial improvements. Once an architect is retained, his first call may well be to the engineers. It becomes a collaborative effort to design and build homes within these flood zones. Particularly challenging are homes located within what are termed VE, or high velocity, zones.
LandTech recently received approval for a new residence in the Saugatuck Shores area of Westport. Engineering and architectural best practices, combined with FEMA standards, required relief in the form of Planning and Zoning Regulation variances for the property.
Working with architectural designer Charlie McMillan of McMillan Group in Westport, LandTech provided civil and structural engineering and coordinated all permitting through state and local land-use agencies.
This project serves as an example of architectural design being used well to combine a homeowner’s desires in a new waterfront home with engineering design that meets stringent FEMA and building codes. In this example, the design masks much of the infrastructure with innovative use of “breakaway” walls and stone columns.
As residences along shorefront areas (like Saugatuck Shores) are elevated to meet FEMA and local regulations, homeowners are more in need than ever of highly creative architectural and engineering solutions.