Breakaway Walls Option for Raised Homes
With the number of homes being raised, or constructed at an elevated level since Hurricane / Super-Storm Sandy, homeowners at the Jersey Shore can opt to take advantage of the ground-level space with ‘breakaway walls’. Sectioning off all, or part, of the space underneath the elevated house can act as weatherproof storage to protect bicycles, personal watercraft, gardening equipment and the like. FEMA defines a breakaway wall as:
“A wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces, without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. Any walls below the lowest floor in a building in a V Zone should give way under wind and water loads without causing collapse, displacement, or other damage to the elevated portion of the building or the supporting pilings or columns.”
Breakaway walls can be constructed of hollow masonry units (ungrouted), stucco/siding covered wood frame, or fiber cement siding (e.g. Hardie board) to name a few. With all of the choices and options available, there is no reason that the below living-level space of your home can’t be as attractive a custom space as the rest of your custom home.