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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:05 am

{{{No way, that cannot be a safe way to carry to kids to school!! }}

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Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:56 am

That pile of rocks they nonchalantly use as a stepping stone. pale

You'd think they'd sweep off the loose gravel.

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Post by azriel on Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:28 pm

I guess that you get used to the environment around you ? They don't seem fazed at all ! its me clenching & curling my toes ! I used to think 'how did prehistoric man cope ?' I think Ive just seen a rough idea Very Happy

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Post by azriel on Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:41 pm

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Post by azriel on Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:12 pm


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Post by halfwise on Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:57 pm

Not the type of terrain you want to be on when you see a big wave coming!

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:27 pm

Mhm. Anything below 1,000 ft elevation you better be wearing a life-jacket!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:17 am

{{ Question for US hobbits. Just saw the footage on the news from the latest tornado to destroy a US town, and the houses look like they were made of matches, and not just from the destruction.
Why don't Americans build in stone with deep foundations? Why so often when you see footage form these things do the houses seem to be have been made of thin wood with shallow or even no foundations?
You just wouldn't build a house that way here, I'm not even sure you'd be allowed to. }}

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Post by halfwise on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:23 pm

They all have storm cellars in tornado country.  Stone is not such a common material in those parts, would have to be built of brick at least, and thick brick at that. Storm cellars are required by law, and this is what saves lives.

Europeans and Brits have long forgotten what it's like to live in an expanding population.  Dwellings go up quickly here since folks may need them quickly.  In boom times people move from apartments to family homes, and builders sensing such boom times coming will begin construction.  But if they misjudge they have expensive property on their hands with no-one to sell to.  For this reason the more expensive constructions that could withstand the occasional tornado are avoided.  

If this seems irrational, the chances of being hit by a tornado in Oklahoma, the most prone tornado state in the entire world, is only 1 : 4.5 million per year, and these cheap homes only last about 50 years.

If our population were more stable and movements less in flux no doubt the building industry would find long lasting homes to be more viable, but such is not the case.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:33 pm

{{ Thanks for the explanation Halfy.

Here its a tricky business a new building, you have to first get planning permission for it from the local council, and there will be  a ton of criteria to meet there on location, size, access, amount of disruption caused to build etc

And then when you get to the building stage there is another list even longer of all the minimum specifications you have to meet - structure, materials, stability, fire checks, environmental needs like insulation materials, types of cladding, the roofing and plenty more.

Which is why I dont think you could make and sell the sort of put them up quick wood materials no foundations type you see in the US, I dont think they'd meet the basic criteria. Event the wooden holiday lodges you get here seem sturdier and have stone foundations.}}

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Post by David H on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:37 pm

There's lots of reasons, but the big one is earthquakes. A stone or brick building can turn to rubble, crush you and bury you so deep they'll never find you without heavy equipment, all within the first few seconds. When I worked in downtown Seattle we were taught to run into the middle of the street during earthquakes to avoid falling cornices (they didn't mention what to do about avoiding the cars and buses Mad) Wooden structures are much lighter, and less likely to kill you (statistically speaking).

After some spectacular disasters, the building codes basically no longer allow for stone or brick as a structural wall. Now they start with a structure of steel or reinforced concrete, and stick a layer of bricks or cobblestones on the surface to make it look quaint and traditional. Many of the pre-WWII buildings have either been demolished or are being required to have a new steel skeleton installed. Often they just preserve the streetfront wall supported by a scaffold, while they built a whole new building behind it.

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Post by halfwise on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:07 pm

Ah, earthquake country has a whole new set of requirements!

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:55 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Thanks for the explanation Halfy.

Here its a tricky business a new building, you have to first get planning permission for it from the local council, and there will be  a ton of criteria to meet there on location, size, access, amount of disruption caused to build etc

And then when you get to the building stage there is another list even longer of all the minimum specifications you have to meet - structure, materials, stability, fire checks, environmental needs like insulation materials, types of cladding, the roofing and plenty more.

Which is why I dont think you could make and sell the sort of put them up quick wood materials no foundations type you see in the US, I dont think they'd meet the basic criteria. Event the wooden holiday lodges you get here seem sturdier and have stone foundations.}}

Building codes exist in the U.S. as well. The level of stringency varies from state to state and county to city, but there are plenty of criteria to be met. All houses require foundations. Most of them here in California consist of a wide "footing" buried underground, on top of which sits a stem wall. These run around the exterior of the house, and, if necessary, under any load-bearing walls on the inside of the house's footprint. They're concrete, reinforced with rebar.

You can see here the wooden forms into which the concrete is poured and the rebar inside:
Just...................whatever [6] - Page 28 Electricians

Depending on soil-type and other factors you can also need things like reinforcing piers that are drilled down deep. If, for example, the house is built on sandy-clay, then you might need to drop these piers down to bed-rock. Like so,

Just...................whatever [6] - Page 28 Push-piers

...but without the basement, as houses in California usually don't have basements because:  A) we don't get tornadoes, B) we don't need to build our foundation down below the frost-line, because there is no frost-line, and C) they add a not-inconsequential amount of expense and we don't need them. Also probably earth-quakes.

I imagine that in Scotland you have a desire to maintain a certain tradition of style in your new construction. That must involve some governmental over-watch. That sense of tradition doesn't exist here in most places in California and so there aren't all these rules about stylistic formulae, at least outside of private communities. I'm sure some high-profile communities have rules about that as well, but it's not common I don't think.

The vast majority of housing where I live is stick-framed, balloon-framed, wood-framed, whatever you want to call it: a house framed out of dimensional lumber: usually 2x4 (1.5x3.5 inches or 3.8x8.9 cm). It's fast, cheap, strong (Douglas Fir is an excellent wood), and, most importantly, if built properly and with the right structural hardware (up to code, that is), can withstand strong earthquakes.

Load-bearing masonry like brick or stone is a bad idea in an earth-quake-prone area. So you have to reinforce it with rebar, and the cost is high. Although you can build houses out of brick in California, it's a lot cheaper to do it with wood. AND, if you build a house out of wood and do a so-so job of it, you're going to be much better off than someone who lives in a brick structure the builders of which did a so-so job of it. Compare the 1989 Loma Prieta quake centered in the Santa Cruz Mts. (6.9 Richter, 63 dead, 3757 injured) to the 1988 Armenian quake (6.8 Richter, 25,000 to 50,000 dead, 130,000 injured). In the Bay Area, houses are made of flexible wood, and large-buildings are made of flexible steel. In Armenia, they mostly had old, cheaply-made, concrete-slab buildings.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:31 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Question for US hobbits. Just saw the footage on the news from the latest tornado to destroy a US town, and the houses look like they were made of matches, and not just from the destruction.
Why don't Americans build in stone with deep foundations? Why so often when you see footage form these things do the houses seem to be have been made of thin wood with shallow or even no foundations?
You just wouldn't build a house that way here, I'm not even sure you'd be allowed to. }}

I always think the same thing, why build a house of wood in a path of a tornado, it seems barking mad to me. scratch

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Post by David H on Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:10 am

Mrs Figg wrote:I always think the same thing, why build a house of wood in a path of a tornado, it seems barking mad to me. scratch

For that matter, why build a house of ANYTHING in the path of a tornado? affraid

One of the strategies in tornado country is to have a heavy bomb-shelter style cellar under the house, and to build a house on top of it that's as as inexpensive an replaceable as possible. I've known several people who have weathered a major tornado to come out of the cellar and find several blocks of homes gone around them. In those conditions it can take a long time and a lot of money to repair a badly damaged home that's still standing but has lost its roof, windows, doors, interior walls etc. However a good contractor can build you a whole new prefabricated home for half the price in a matter of weeks, once the site is cleared.

So let me ask this, if you're going to build a house in the path of a tornado anyway, and you know it's going to be destroyed sooner or later, why wouldn't it make sense to build a house that can automatically self-destruct and leave the site clear and ready for the new one?
Trollface

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:59 pm

I see what you mean, I guess brick houses are more dangerous if they fall on the shelters.

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Post by David H on Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:59 am

yep. Google "brick house after tornado" and you get lots of pictures like this...  pale

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Post by Lancebloke on Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:16 am

I think it would go for something that would mean I need to replace all of my sentimental stuff!

Well... I would actually just not live somewhere like that in the first place. The UK may be miserable sometimes but it doesn't try to kill you as much as other places
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Post by David H on Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:09 pm

Remember the scene at the beginning of "Wizard of Oz" where everybody's diving into the root cellar with the tornado on the horizon (except Dorothy who's off chasing Toto)?

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{{{{I'm sure Orwell does, but then he lives in one of those places that's trying to kill you... Ozzies Sofa }}}

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Post by halfwise on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:37 pm

Europe and Great Britain actually has more tornados per area than the US, but they are generally febrile little things. To get the storms we have a warm water gulf to the southeast of a north-south line of mountains (reverse all directions in the southern hemisphere) will do the trick...and if you search the globe you only find the geography in the US.

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Post by azriel on Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:02 am

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:39 pm

{{ I think I've done that Az! drunken Mad }}



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Post by halfwise on Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:46 pm

That's about right.  Somewhat reminiscent of The Grand Inquisitioner chapter from the Brothers Karamazov.

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Post by azriel on Wed May 01, 2019 9:09 pm


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If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got

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Post by halfwise on Wed May 01, 2019 9:30 pm

That's no small bit of construction!

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