Cannon Beach plans tsunami-resistant structure

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

 

0611_HighAndDry
The design features a 10,000-square-foot structure on concrete pillars supported by concrete piles and beams and four-foot walls in front and back. // Photo courtesy Ecola Architects, PC

When the Sendai quake and tsunami hit last March, many Japanese residents took refuge in “vertical evacuation structures,” reinforced concrete buildings that were strong enough — and tall enough — to withstand the force of the waves. Now officials in Cannon Beach aim to build a similar tsunami-resistant structure — the first in the United States.

Raised 15 feet off the ground, the two-story building, tentatively sited at the intersection of Gower and Hemlock streets, would provide shelter for about 1,500 people and also serve as a new city hall. “The goal is to save lives and provide continuity of government,” says Jay Raskin, an architect and former mayor of Cannon Beach who is spearheading the design process.

Just 50 miles off the Oregon Coast is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600-mile fault that many scientists say is overdue for a rupture, producing a massive quake and tsunami that could engulf seaside towns. “We’re going to get what Japan got and we’re in a window of it happening within our lifetime,” says Patrick Corcoran, an Oregon State University coastal outreach hazards specialist. The proposed design was developed with assistance from Oregon State University and the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Several questions remain before the project can move forward. Although the conceptual plans follow guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there is no federal or state funding for the structure, which is expected to cost about $4 million — about twice the cost of a conventional building.

OSU researchers are also conducting an evacuation simulation study to see how effective the proposed building would be compared to a base case without the building.

Despite the uncertainties hanging over the pioneering project, Oregon needs vertical evacuation strategies, says Jennifer Chamberlain, Oregon Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman. That’s because in many areas of the coast, people won’t have time to walk — or run — to high ground before the tsunami strikes. “There is no safe haven,” says Chamberlain.

LINDA BAKER
 

Comments   

 
Jonathan K
0 #1 Evacuation Simulation ResultsJonathan K 2011-05-25 15:36:35
The research team has completed the mentioned tsunami evacuation study. Results may be found here: http://netjunky.com/cannon-beach/
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Karri White
0 #2 Tsunami Resistant Combo?Karri White 2012-04-16 14:35:23
I'v read several articles on this Town House but have not read anything about the building being earthquake proof too.

Most Tsunami are seismogenic, so caused by an earthquake. If the building cannot withstand an earthquake, then when this Tsunami arrives this town house will not be protecting any one.

Does any one know what earthquake resistant techniques have been put in place?
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


Read more...

Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Read more...

Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GINA BINOLE

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?


Read more...

Downtime with Jill Nelson

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play wit the CEO of Ruby Receptionists.


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Business partnerships: taming the three-headed monster

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 06, 2015
070615-businessmarriagefail-thumbBY KATHERINE HEEKIN | OB GUEST COLUMNIST

Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS