Hancock County Shelters

Ancient protection strategies are employed in the design of new evacuation shelters to serve the residents of coastal areas.  Directing wind over and around the structures is accomplished by means of earthen berms and rounded geometries.  Cast-in-place concrete walls support a curving roof with no edges to catch the wind.  Impact-resistant steel doors and armoured windows defend against flying debris and collateral damage.

The sites are located outside of the Katrina surge zones, and beyond the range of the 500-year floodplain.  Self-sufficiency features include a generator, and uninterrupted water supply and sewage.  Ground-source heat exchange offers an exceptional level of energy efficiency and no exterior-mounted equipment exposed to possible damage during an event.  Uninterruptible power is provided by the generator, but in case of failure, a natural ventilation strategy is also provided.  Landscaping also contributes to the hardening by means of tough native plants that shield walks and entrances from direct exposure, and stabilize the slopes from erosion.


Completed 2011

Program: Two small shelters 3,600 SF and three large shelters at 10,000 SF with capacity for 3,000+ residents.  Hardened to FEMA 361.   Self-sufficiency required for 36 hours.

Cost:  $16,200,000.00

Project Team:

Compton Engineering, Project Management, Civil Engineer

unabridged Architecture, Architect

Baldauf-Herrin, Structural Engineer

Mazzetti, MEP Engineer

C. Perry, Contractor