Residential construction using shotcrete is not a new concept. A few shotcrete houses dating to the 1930′s are still in livable existence today. The widespread use of shotcrete for residential housing is, however, much more prevalent in today’s marketplace then it was perhaps 20 years ago.
Continually escalating wood prices combined with the need for residential structures to perform under seismic events, hurricanes, and other natural events makes the use of shotcrete a financially appealing alternative. Shotcrete use in residential structures offers the designer a wide latitude architecturally as well as greatly increased capabilities structurally with respect to natural environmental loads.
A Strong Base: A solid, concrete foundation is at the base of these stalwart homes, providing the strength necessary to stand up to forces of nature other styles of homes cannot withstand. Piles can be installed to further strengthen the foundation and to keep the structure from settling into the soft soil, as is the case with many homes built on the islands and beaches of the lowcountry,
Reinforced Concrete Walls: Shotcrete is not only concrete with all of the same advantages and strengths, but it can also be shaped and set up into a variety of different forms in order to make your home look exactly how you want it to. Arches, rounded rotundas and any other shape associated with homes are capable of being attained with shotcrete. Reinforced with steel, these walls can withstand hurricane grade winds and can provide resistance to earthquake forces greater than normal building materials. Micro-piles can also be installed by Palmetto Gunite adding further protection from seismic forces as was desired for this research facility.
Peace of Mind: Living on the East Coast has the benefit of being next to the ocean, witnessing beautiful scenery on a daily basis and meeting some of the most hospitable and unique people in the country. However, there are inherent risks with settling into a coastal home. Hurricanes have, and will continue, to rear their powerful heads from time to time. Those who have not prepared adequately for risk or insured against the potential damages can be left with potentially life altering expenses. Many areas, such as homes situated on beach front properties, may find it difficult, extremely expensive or even impossible to adequately insure their homes from potential disasters. Although a reinforced concrete home cannot completely guarantee major damages cannot occur, they do offer some of the strongest and safest homes during natural disasters as this home was a testament during Hurricane Katrina. Here is another photo to give an idea of what the damage to the surrounding area of the home was like.