STRUCTURAL DESIGN ASPECTS OF A COASTAL BUILDING CODE

Ralph R. Clark

Abstract


Since 1957, the State of Florida, U.S.A., has witnessed the evolution of coastal regulatory concepts based upon coastal engineering design guidance. In 1978, the Florida Legislature encouraged counties and municipalities to adopt coastal construction zoning and building codes to supplement the existing minimum codes which include the Standard Building Code, the National Building Code and the South Florida Building Code. Subsequently, coastal building code guidelines were developed to provide statewide uniformity in the adoption of supplemental codes by coastal counties and municipalities. It is the intent of this paper to present the structural design aspects required in a coastal building code using the code guidelines developed for and specifically applicable to Florida's coastal communities. These same design aspects and code guidance are applicable to most other state's or nation's developable sand shorelines which are subjected to coastal storm damage. The purpose of a coastal building code in Florida communities is to supplement the existing minimum code by providing the structural design standards for construction within that portion of the beach and dune system which is subject to substantial scour, erosion, flooding, and loads accompanying the impact of a major hurricane. A coastal building code includes structural design standards for the construction of residential structures, enclosed commercial structures, coastal and shore protection structures, and other substantial structures of a semi-permanent nature. Although the few minimum codes currently in effect in the coastal communities are comprehensive for conventional construction, they do not adequately address the special structural design considerations identified for the Florida coast. Along a developable coast, special design considerations are necessary for the preservation of the beach and dune systems, as well as, for the structural adequacy of the construction. The major concepts of coastal engineering design which are necessary in a coastal building code include: 1. Zone identification (horizontal and vertical). 2. Foundation design for erosion and scour. 3. Storm loading (including wind, waves, hydrostatic, and hydrodynamic loads).

Keywords


design aspects; building code

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