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Babylon rocked maths
#11
Quote:Not sure why my post was confusing.

It was pretty straight up shit

Not your fault, I just don't speak math.

Re that house damage thing, the maths need common sense applied to them when building to withstand the weather. 

I mentioned the old (some 100 years old now, they're STILL standing!) fishermans cottages in Red Rock.  They looked like shacks but had pole corner posts sunken 6ft deep into the ground where it was sandy.  Some were as deep as they were high! You had to duck your head to get into some.
The normally 'windward' walls were braced on the inside twice as much as the leeward walls.  They were built a bit like ships really.  The roofs were low peaked and not just plonked on top of the frame but incorporated into it.   They were rough as guts, and the timber was low grade, uneven and whatever was cheap and easy to transport on a cart, but they knew how to fasten them together.

There was an amazing lack of debris after cyclones in that little village.  The odd sheet of tin off a shed roof, an overlooked garden chair in a tree, only plenty of vegetation scattered around. 
There were very few trees over 15-20 high around there they just got 'pruned' by the wind. 
But when the  rain stopped and the clouds cleared it only took a few hours to clean up the branches and mop out any leak damage and everyone just went fishing again.

They were underappreciated, amazing old houses.

I did see a clip of Harvey last night of two women telling us in all sincerity that God had told them they had to stay in their house so they'd be on hand to help others after the 'storm'.  (their house was flattened)  and in the background, among  all the debris there stood an old blue house that was so reminiscent of those in Red Rock it immediately took my attention.    It was standing there undamaged,  wondering where all it's younger neighbours had gone.
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#12
Yup.

Taking it further, round or conical structures have a huge advantage over boxes in high winds.
Floatability is also easily doable, which eliminates the flood damage.

Alas, we are at the mercy of the lending institutions...and they demand boxes.

But i've done this rant before. I won't bore you with a repeat of the details.
We insist on being retarded. We're actually proud of it.
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#13
Your point is well taken though.  There are some pretty stringent building codes in force in OZ and it put thousands onto the cost of the house I had built.  
Steel cable secured the roof to bolts set into the concrete foundations, twice the roof bracing than is seen in southern parts.  
Different regions have steadily increasing standard codes according to the weather likely encountered.  
Even the width of the eaves is legislated according to latitude for optimum low energy heating/cooling.  The further north you build the wider the eaves have to be.  Now that at least is sensible 'environmentalism'.  New houses way up in the tropics look like Stetsons.

It's a no brainer that was done without thought, except for common sense, a century ago up there.  

They built a box up on poles with a bedroom or 2 and bathroom and then the rest of the house was nothing more than a wide verandah,  or lean-tos if they were really poor.  

There were only a couple of solid walls in the interior 'box', the verandahs were 'walled' with flyscreens and sometimes just   fencing wire mesh to keep the goannas out.  

But housing trends got silly about the early 50s and the skillion roofs ... you should see them fly in a cyclone!, and picture windows became the fashion.  They looked fine in Melbourne and plenty of them in Sydney too, but in Queensland they were cyclone bait.

Anyway, common sense has returned, but it's accompanied by the 'box syndrome."  The building codes prevent anything much beyond that being built except as an extremely costly exercise in architecural independence.

Darwin was a sad case back in '74 when Tracy blew it away.  it was an iconic tropical town.  
A hotchpotch of quaint jerry-built (appearing) boxes with verandahs built up high on stilts to let the air under them and keep the snakes and termites out of the bedrooms.  

They were festooned in vines of bougainvillia or whatever would grow over them to shade them. 

It was a great place, tropically magical,  loved it there. 
After Tracy though, even though some of the 'city' which was still standing included many of those old 'shacks' the new order of the day became to rebuild everything like a bloody bunker.  

It lost all the character that had made it Darwin.  The old stilt houses were pulled down and replaced by concrete boxes.  No more natural ventilation, everybody had to have air-cons thundering away around the clock.
I only went back once, it was too sad to ever go back there again.  It just wasn't Darwin any more.
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#14
That was lovely.
Very cool to hear of building codes and some history in that alien land down there.

What always astonishes me about crappy engineering (of all sorts; not just housing) is how little it costs to make something twice as good.
It's not like it costs twice as much. It might cost 5% more. In some cases, it's less expensive to make something twice as good.

Obviously, some stuff has become wildly better over the years; some stuff is lagging desperately behind what's doable.

I see that dividing line as the point wherein banks need be involved.

I don't guess I could have built anything if I had to get permission from a bank first.
(I have built some cool stuff)

Banks would have gladly financed me to build an Avondale Shit-box on a quarter acre lot in Tanglewood Estates (or whatever they call it) on maple Avenue; White Bread, New Jersey.

But I hate that shit.

(such an opinionated little bitch, eh?)
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#15
I'm prone on occasion to watch an 'Extreme Homes' program which airs around when there's not much else on. 
Some of them are Extreme expense wise but many are extreme in a good way.  They look really odd but the details of why they look that way often make brilliant sense taken where they are and the purpose of the oddities.

One was horrifying to me.  It was 6ft wide at it's broadest, and looked about 10 to 12 foot deep.
Wedged between two city buildings in a disused alleyway space.

It was tight, but functional, with mod cons in 3 layers reached by strategically placed ladders and even the frame work was climbable.
Most 'furniture' was built in and multi-functional and it had windows on each level for plenty of light.
The bedroom was just that.  A ledge with a wall to wall mattress on it. Long shallow boxes suspended above the bed  were storage.  
His 'office' was also suspended.  A desk and chair platform hanging from the roof that he'd climb up onto and which could be walked under easily to access the rudimentary kitchen.  The bathroom was moulded resin (?) and served as shower  basin and toilet in one capsule wedged in a corner.  A wet arse from the toilet seemed the major drawback in that.

I was squirming with claustrophobia issues, and it was a 'home' for the fit and healthy only, but fitted it's purpose of being city digs for a single bloke where living space otherwise would be astronomically expensive.  It cost a fraction of what it's now worth to build.   Clever design and the 'alley' was a bargain buy. It had only been advertised as a car parking space.
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#16
The obstacle to brilliance is never about a lack of creative humans.
It's always about the plethora of the opposite.
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