Preserving Fernandina’s Historic Buildings

One helpful conversation later, I understand the possibilities for preservation a little more.  Areas along Fernandina’s waterfront are filled with historic buildings pre-dating FEMA elevation requirements or built when the flood zones required less.  A prime example of a building “potentially” preserved by “dry proofing” techniques, is the Standard Marine property.  Instead of an extremely difficult change to finished floor elevation, this may offer a solution.

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Ideal Candidate?

Retrofit floodproofing measures for historic buildings need not be comprehensive to provide at least some degree of protection. The techniques listed below may have minimal impact on the historically significant features of the structure (FEMA 2008b):

  • Elevating electrical and mechanical systems and utilities
  • Relocating contents
  • Creating positive drainage, where the grade allows water to drain away from the building
  • Using flood damage-resistant materials
  • Filling in basements or wet floodproofing basements
  • Installing small floodwalls to protect openings such as window wells

Source: FEMA Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings FEMA P-936 / July 2013 

I’m pleased to see possibilities for both preservation and, I would hope, reduction of insurance rates.  My next call is to my insurance agent to discuss potential benefits for historic non-residential property retrofitted with any of these FEMA flood proofing. Consider the picture below and how many older properties might potentially benefit.

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Source: Nassau County Property Appraiser GIS

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