Architectural Lessons Learned From Hurricane Hugo

by Ben K. Miehe, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Charleston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hurricane Hugo One Year Later


All of us in the building design professions have learned many lessons in the last year since Hugo. My experience, as with many of us in the design profession in Charleston, has been on several levels, as a home owner/occupant, as a neighbor, as a design professional, and as a damage assessment volunteer. At SOUTHNAVFACENGCOM we've held several In-House 'Lessons Learned' in the months immediately following Hugo, and our post Hugo tasks. Though we've learned many lessons from the effects of this storm, this report will not attempt to address all of them. Some lessons may be architectural, some multi-disciplinary or general in nature, some need emphasis even though it may not always be clear whose responsibility their design is. Some lessons are very specific and thus immediately applicable while others have taken months to discover and/or surface. The biggest lesson I have learned from Hugo is not a new one but an age old problem that exists industry wide and remains a problem today. We have a lack of communication at several levels in the building industry. It may require years to be applied.

Subject Headings: Building design | Architecture | Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones | Building codes | Structural design | Industries | Construction industry | Hydraulic design

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