Flood-proof Testing

Flood Simulation Modeling and Analysis

In order to ensure SURE HOUSE is resilient against hurricane situations, the team created waterproof details that would stand the loads of flood water and debris, as determined analytically above. In order to test details formulated, the team constructed multiple test “boxes” built in the same manner as the proposed house.

Box #1 Testing: Tape Selection

The first round of flood testing focused on identifying which type of tape would be best to utilize in the house as a redundant layer of defense against flood waters. Two types of tape were tested with two different taping schemes each to determine which was the most effective. Grace Vycor Plus tape was decided upon for use as a result of this round of testing because it was the most successful at keeping water from penetrating the edges and corners of the box.

Box 2 Testing: ABS Sheathing and Sealing

Step 1: The second box was aimed at testing the primary waterproofing capabilities of the sheathing edge conditions and penetrations. In this step, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), the thermoplastic sheathing used to waterproof the walls of SURE HOUSE, is first sanded at connection locations, cleaned to remove debris and dirt, and then applied to faces of the walls with gasketed roof screws. All joints are filled with 3M 5200 marine adhesive to create a seal.

Box 2 Testing: ABS Sheathing and Sealing

Step 2: Blocking was added for future attachment to exterior finish with standard exterior-grade screws. 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive caulk was applied around all blocking and around all screws. Holes through the sheathing for all blocking penetrations were predrilled and filled with caulk prior to screwing so that caulk is both on top of and around all non-gasketed screws.

Waterproofing Detail

Typical corner condition waterproofing detail.

Waterproofing Detail

Typical waterproof blocking connection detail.

Pool Test

The box was tested in 24” of water up the side of the box in a pool outside the SURE HOUSE office. The box was elevated slightly off the bottom of the pool with 2x4s to simulate real house conditions where water is free to flow under the structure. The cinderblocks seen above were used to combat buoyant forces. The box was submerged for 80 hours (longer than the required 72 hours of standard hurricane floods) without any water leakage. Images were taken inside the box every 15 minutes for the first 5 hours to ensure there were no leaks, and every 8 hours for the remainder of the test period.

As-Built Condition

This image shows the different stages of work completed. SURE HOUSE was constructed using the same caulking and connection details as box #2. Grace Vycor Plus tape from test box #1 was applied over the caulk details in box #2 to protect them and provide a second layer of waterproofing. Architectural finishes were applied over the seen blocking.