How do you combat floods and weather to save storefronts from damage?

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My goal is to create a new eco-friendly way to raise storefronts from floods along the East Coast, protecting them from floods ruining the insides of the stores while creating parking spaces and hangout locations below the building.

 Many places along the coast need a way to adapt with a design in which helps prevent flooding. With this adaption, will allow for store fronts to be almost flood proof, keeping places safe. This allows companies and businesses to save lots of money and be able to put it towards other things. While adapting to the floods and storms, this space will allow for parking underneath the building and to be used as a hangout space with benches. This is a very much needed problem solver because it can save the city and the owners plenty of money. Do you agree with this possible solution? 

This imagine is an example of a raised building which combats the floods and storms.


The users that I will be targeting are the shop owners of the store fronts that are very close to sea level that are at risk to floods. I am also targeting the people in who shop at these stores and buildings, the customers. I want to target the people of Ocean City, Maryland, because the city is out on an island that is at sea level so anytime there are bad storms throughout the fall, the city floods and the stores get damaged and forced to close, causing endless circles of repairs and costs. The town is a very busy tourist destination during the summer and fixing issues to allow them to sit a little higher above sea level will stop all the water damage during storms and create more parking space since it is very cramped for parking during the summer.


A location in Ocean City in which there is ample space to where the new store/building will have space to have its own design where it can be raised from the ground a bit. Needs a good location in which is central to the action in the city. Good infrastructure. This building would be along the coastal highway that runs down the island/city. This location will attract lots of people to the new store. 


I think for this building I am going to need to use ideas of places in which floods do occur, where they have adjusted and have better designs for how to stop the flooding from ruining the building and use of the ideas towards my design. I will be using a material in which is safe for the environment but sturdy enough to be able to support the buildings in storms. Also, I need to make sure to use the appropriate materials for the flooring throughout to which if water got up, it wouldn’t soak in but just dry up, or drain or roll off.

Case Study

This image above is a residential design of a flood resistant building in which stands a floor above the ground in which you can then have both parking underneath saving space when in a cramped environment, but also allow the storefront to be off the ground. I have also found using this approach is the second best way to combat the floods that come during storms.

Here I have another example below in which it shows another design of applying the stilt concept to a home, in which you could make into a commercial building like a tackle shop or convenience store which are both in demand in Ocean City, MD. This shows how size of lot doesn’t matter because this allows all of the equipment to be off the ground for the most part.

This is a link to a article about a place on the West coast of the US that is about to go back to building places on stilts since their in a flood zone. This model is a design they will be using.

Client Interview

My client interview is with my dad who is a user of the stores in which get affected by these storms and floods. I asked him a series of questions getting his take on how people should go about trying to solve this issue.

Question 1: how do you think there would be a solution to making stores morre flood proof?

My dad – I think maybe building up the foundation higher, or raising the building on stilts like in Key West, Florida.

Question 2: Do places like grocery stores need to be apart of the places that are raised up on stilts?

My dad – In certain places amongst the city, yes, because over the years of me going there during the summer, many places had water throughout the insides after big storms, ruining everything inside. Raising any sort of commercial building or home would be beneficial to the city.

Question 3: Would a building like this benefit the shortage of parking?

My dad – Yes, because if the building is raised like you want to do, people would be able to park under right?

Me – Yes.

Question 4: Do you think it would be better to start over with a new building or raise a current building?

My dad – Start over because it would take too much time and materials compared to just starting fresh.

Question 5: How would the materials best get to the sites that would be built on?

My dad – If the site is on the water, the materials would best come by barge since it wouldn’t take up space on site. If not on the water they should be transported by small trucks since the streets are narrow in town.

Cite Analysis

The first image above, is a site in which is smaller on the main highway which would be a very good place for a smaller store front in which could use a smaller design but still be very noticeable since its height would attract people.

This second image is a big lot which overlooks the bay where you would be able to use the bigger design where parking could be underneath and have the commercial buildings up on stilts since the water rises lots. This would ensure waterfront stores don’t get ruined by keeping the stuff high up.

Needs Analysis:

Needs – A big freezer, a handicap ramp, a big kitchen, bathrooms.

Program data sheet:

The program data sheet helped me plan out how i’m going to need to get A/C, Wifi, LED lighting, and water throughout the building. This candy store that I am building  needs to have all of these because it needs to be a good working building. The building isn’t anything complicated needing anything besides main essentials that are listed.

Bubble diagram:

This is a layout of a candy store front that would be a building which would be lifted to prevent floods from damaging it. This whole building will be 60’ x 40’ and will be up on concrete posts lifted around 8ft into the air helping prevent the flood damage while creating parking underneath.

Mood board:

This mood board  below represents what the places in Ocean City are like and what their whole vibe is like, This is what I want the place that I’m designing to take after, so it fits in with the city. Ocean City is a place in which it is filled with color, mainly different shades of blue so these types of colors and in the building and on the outside, this will work perfectly. It is best that we do these type things because the new building would look misplaced because it wouldn’t fit in aesthetically.

Schematic designs:

This is my site plan for the plot of land where the raised candy store will go. This includes, a main road where people are driving, off the main road is a side road that goes on the outside of the property. Off the sideroad there is access to a dual staircase to get up to the entrance of the building. Closer to the water is a ramp that is up to guidelines. Off the main road there is a little turn in which you can access the few parking spaces and hangout are underneath the building for people who work at the building or are coming to shop.

This is my schematic drawing of the floor plan of the actual building. This is a candy store so the whole lobby area is built with tables and round tables to have candy and other kinds of sweets sit on them. There is also a counter that is very long with registers for where you buy your candy. There is a main entrance where the stairs are to the ground and another entrance for handicapped people. Down the right area are two individual restrooms for anyone that might need to use the bathroom. The kitchen is a very spacious are where lots of candies can be prepared and packaged. The freezer is right off the kitchen, and so is the mechanical room down a small hallway.

This is the sketch of the front of the candy store that i’m designing. In this image, you can see the dual staircases going up to the store where there is railing and two main doors. With lots of windows letting in natural light. The roof of the building is just a common design needed to help keep water out of the store. Down below you can see one of the parking spaces below to the left side of the building where all the parking spaces need to be since that side accesses the main road. To the right side below is where there are some picnic tables in the common area for people to hang out at. Over to that side of the building is where we needed to put the big ramp so it has handicap accessibility This building is at a good height since the land it is on is about only 3 feet above sea level.

This is my layout / floor plan for the area below the building in which is going to be used as a multipurpose area where  there is parking and a hangout area for customers and just anyone. At the bottom of this image there is a 10’ wide entrance from the main road to the 6 parking spots that will be under the building which can be used for employees and other customers. At the end of the parking spaces, towards where the water would be, there are areas for people to hangout, completed with benches for people to enjoy the day. The underneath has many pillars that are used to hold up the building above where they are spaces out by 10 feet. There are support beams across and between all of these pillars to ensure the structural integrity of the building.

3D model:

This image is from the front part of my 3D model that I have constructed to scale of my candy store that I have raised with my system of columns to help it from getting damaged when floods come. From this image you can see the main staircase I have built which leads up to the entrance of the building. These stairs have lines along the edges indicating where the railings would be to ensure the safety of all customers and workers. I went with a normal slanted roof because it goes best with the style building i was doing and helps deflect water off onto down below. You may be wondering how are handicapped people supposed to enter this building, see the next slide and you will find out…

This second image shows the handicap ramp that is built to help people in need to get up to the building so it can be a friendly place to all people. This ramp is built to specifications that are required by the laws on how they must be built and the angle. Along all of the edges of this ramp are railings to prevent any sort of accident and made sure all the people stay safe. This ramp is located on the right side of the building in which is further from the road which makes it even more safe.

This image is of the left part of the 3D model. This shows where the main highway/road goes by the property. This shows the access to the under area of the building where there is parking for cars to access by turning off from the road, where there is access to hangout area and spots for cars. You can also see some windows that look out over the road and allowing in sunlight to the building to make it feel more open.

This is a close up image of where there are parking spots off the main road in which there is 6 parking spots. In the first few spots are cut out cars in which show where the parking spaces are and how the cars would be arranged. This also shows how the columns are arranged and how the building is supported in which is holding up the store.

This image is of the underneath area on the right side of the building near the ramp and the water beyond the ramp. In this area are blocks that represent picnic tables that make up a common area in which people are able to hangout at and enjoy the outside. This is very needed in Ocean City because of the fact that there are little common areas near buildings like these for people to enjoy. People sitting at these picnic tables will be able to enjoy some fresh air while also getting to look out over the water just beyond the ramp where the sun sets in the East, this provides great picture opportunities.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any ideas or suggestions on things I could change to my design to make it better. I really appreciate everyone for spending their time going through my catalyst project, and I hope it helped inspire you to attempt to do something good for your community. 🙂

Works Cited



I am a Junior in high school from Annapolis, Maryland.


  1. Hi Cameron, I really enjoyed reading and learning about your project, I thought that it was very well thought and planned. I especially liked your 3D model, it was very realistic and gave an insight into what it looked like!
    I have never lived somewhere where floods are a concern so I was able to learn a lot about the issues people who do face it in their daily lives; however, I have visited areas where floods are common and many people had houses which were raised above ground and did exactly what you are trying to achieve through your project.
    Nice job!!

  2. Hi Cameron, you picked such a great topic for your project! I’m actually really interested in doing something in real estate or interior design near the ocean, so I found your topic very fascinating. I could really see your ideas come to life in your models as well. Great job!!

  3. Hi Cameron, I really liked your project! Floods are definitely are a huge problem and your idea is a great solution to save infrastructure from devastating natural events. The 3D model you made was very impressive and you did a great job thinking of every aspect of your design whether that was including a handicap ramp or creating parking underneath the building.

  4. Hey Cameron, I really like your project! In my area flooding is a big problem for some houses close to the Ohio River. I think that your solution to this problem is really beneficial for this problem. I think this is a great topic because it seems personal to you and I think your design models were very detailed and helpful to get an idea of your vision for the final product!

  5. Hi Cameron! I found your project very cool. I don’t live in a place where it floods a lot so I found your solution interesting. Your 3d model is great. It helps the audience to get a good sense of your project.

  6. Hey Cameron! This is such a good idea, especially along the East Coast. I live in Louisiana and we can already see the rising water levels because of this there are so many homes that are being raised just like this.

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