Inhabiting Risk: A Dual Framework of Insurable Alternatives for a Changing Environment

Project Goals:

Develop speculative, insurable building models that engage economic and technical challenges in high risk communities. Document and add physical building conditions such as elevation, structural systems, materials, and construction assemblies to existing datasets and National Flood Insurance Program regulations to create a framework for design.

Project Team:
    • William Doran Professional in Residence of Architecture
    • Elizabeth Williams Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Louisiana State University
    • Lexie Andrews Project Manager, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute
    • Julie Anderson Assistant Professor of Renewable Natural Resources
    • Brandt Mitchell Associate Director, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute
    • Joseph Booth Executive Director, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute
    • Sam Bentley, PhD Professor, Department of Geology
      Associate Dean for Research, LSU College of Science
      Billy & Ann Harrison Chair in Sedimentary Geology
    • Jeffrey Dickey GIS Data Analyst, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute

Flood and wind damages to coastal communities result in increased costs of natural disasters at the local, state, and national scale. Development, by its nature, often accelerates risk as cities encroach on coasts; as coastal regions become more densely populated and expansive, collective risk of a developed area increases as well. Additionally, the tendency to maintain unsustainable building practice is exacerbated by established insurance procedures that have not evolved with societal knowledge and information. Therefore, this Dual Framework addresses issues facing the future of the National Flood Insurance Program and proposes an integration of risk data with incentivized individual and community design responses.

Direct + Broader Impacts:
The project supports the development of speculative insurable building models that engage the economic and technical challenges of three industry-critical, high risk communities – Golden Meadow, Leeville, and Port Fourchon, Louisiana – that might act as a paradigm for development in similar communities across the region.