Elevation is the height to which a home is raised, a term used to identify specific heights relative to a baseline point on the Z-AxisOne coordinate in a 3D coordinate system where the X and the Y axis represent the horizontal coordinates and the Z-axis represents the vertical coordinates.. Make It Right uses Elevation points to identify Total Height of BuildingTotal Height of Building is measured from grade to the highest point of the roof. This is an important dimension in areas with code limitations on height., Ceiling HeightCeiling height is typically measured from subfloor to underside of drywall., Base Flood ElevationLevel of floodwater expected to occur once in a hundred years. and Sub Floor LevelThe sub floor level is measured from the top of the plywood on floor joists or from the top of a slab..
Make It Right’s homes in New Orleans have to be elevated to avoid flooding in heavy rain and hurricanes. The ground plane cannot be used as a point of reference for elevation since it varies foot by foot. Our baseline point of reference is Base Flood ElevationLevel of floodwater expected to occur once in a hundred years. (BFE). This allows us to have a point in the Z axis to base all other vertical dimensions.
All non-treated home materials must be above the BFE. This means that all treated piles must be cut correctly in order for our LVL SillsLVL Sills (also Laminated Veneer Lumber) are engineered wood products that use multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives. LVLs are stronger, straighter and more uniform than milled lumber, less likely than conventional lumber to warp, twist, bow or shrink and reduce onsite labor time. LVLs are typically used for headers, beams, rimboard and edge-forming material. sit above BFE and avoid being submerged in water during a flood event.
Our elevated foundations in New Orleans have gone through several iterations. We made the conscious choice from the beginning to build higher than the recommended city code and FEMAFederal Emergency Management Agency’s BFE of 3’. We began by building at two heights: 2’ over the B.F.E. and roughly 5’ over the BFE.
At present, we are building at 2’ over BFE due to cost restraints. While building at 5’ over BFE gave homeowners space under the house to park cars, the increased cost was approximately $28,000. Homeowners can still request the 5’ over BFE height, but they are required to pay the additional cost. In most cases, the homeowners decide to keep the houses at the lower elevation.