Construction Demonstration Pods

Building a house is a mysterious process for most people, and hurricane-resistant building is even more daunting. Even professional builders can be confused by the many building codes, insurance requirements, engineering calculations, and best practices that apply to residential construction on the Gulf Coast. With that in mind, the GCCDS recently embarked on a project to build three full-scale construction demonstration pods for the Mississippi Home & Garden Show on March 19-21. The pods were part of a Resiliency Expo organized by the Community & Regional Resilience Institute, a research initiative supported by the Department of Homeland Security, Oak Ridge …

Make your slideshow interactive with page links

A slideshow is typically a one-dimensional presentation tool — a series of images that the presenter advances while she talks. But what if a slideshow could be more like a website — an interactive, multi-dimensional tool for exploring complex or layered information? It turns out that it’s not hard to add page links and other interactive elements. I’ll show how to use Adobe InDesign CS3 to create an interactive PDF, although similar effects are possible in PowerPoint. The background: here at the GCCDS, we wanted to create a slideshow that would display a ‘matrix’ of ideas: three aspects of our …

Designing for Hurricanes and Floods

A general overview of some of the things we do here in Biloxi to mitigate the risk of building houses in a hurricane-prone area. By no means a comprehensive guide. Elevation. The house’s finished floor should be above the expected flood elevation. The building codes here currently go by the city’s maps, but FEMA has issued new Base Flood Elevation maps which are typically higher than the city’s. So, if your property is 12 feet above sea level, and FEMA’s maps show a flood elevation on your property of 17 feet, you would need to elevate approximately 5 feet to …