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Thread: What primitive (or medieval) house design best resists hurricane winds?

  1. #1 What primitive (or medieval) house design best resists hurricane winds? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    If most regions of pre-medieval Europe had been subjects to occasional storms with hurricane level winds on a monthly basis, year after year,
    what type of house design or other changes (habits, etc) did you think could have been used eventually to adapt to this situation?

    Were old houses and stone castles pretty much resistant to strong winds as they were? (I guess a stone castle doesnt blow in the wind like a house of straws)

    any speculation as to what might have eventually changed buildings, habits, culture?

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  3. #2  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Well here in england, there were several reasons for changes in architectural sytles. Many were precipitated by events. What you'll find going back to medieval times is that for villages ordinary houses were still being built from wattle and daub, this type of building material had been used for thousands years. However there were still some quite strong roman influences during this period, with copies of roman style villas still being built in small quantities for the more wealthy. Many of these however required however salvaging building materials from existing roman buildings that were either in ruins or had fallen into decay.

    Also some stone houses were being built, again these types of properties were predominantly for the more wealthy because the labour and effort required to obtain and build with stone, most again stone was either salvaged from existing walls or buildings or it was extremely local to where the house was being build.
    Some examples of stone houses still exist in scotland where the locals salvaged stone from hadrian's wall as their building material.

    As for building styles they tended to be dictated by fashion and building materials.

    This timeline show some of the styles and times they were introduced:

    Timeline of architectural styles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In relation to architectural changes due to hurriacanes there doesn't seem to be any real evidence in the change of design, they might have added some extra structural componants, but the there is no eveidence that any real design changes were enacted.

    Last edited by Ascended; August 1st, 2012 at 09:36 AM. Reason: extra information
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  4. #3  
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    Nov 2011
    city of wine and roses
    It's not just house design. There's also the effects of house/dwelling placement and relationships.

    A lot of people have noticed that old-fashioned, higgledy piggledy arrangements of houses and workshops on streets that are never straight is a great advantage in preventing hot or cold wind, rain, dust, snow from freely flowing or blasting along into house entrances. The old souk-based areas of arab cities are much cooler and more liveable than more recent designs with long, straight, wide streets. The same advantages accrue to not very robust housing 'under' the protection of medieval castle walls or inside forms of courtyard, arcade or other high-walled protection.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Good points. I can imagine a wood palisade having a hill of earth on the outside and grass growing so that you get a wall without risking wood poles flying off into the village? Its not much good against raiders since they just climb a hill instead of having a wall, but I guess it might be better at protecting the village against hurricanes.

    I remember having seen on the internet houses (or were those crypts?) that appeared to be covered on all sides by a hill of earth with grass (not sure which culture that was from), the houses almost looked like hobbit holes. I guess these must have been cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and pretty much immune to hurricane level winds sine its almost the shape of a grassy hill. I guess they could have a facade thats normal and the other 3 sides of the house covered by what would become a grassy hill side.
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