Construction of Crawlspaces in Buildings Located in Special Flood Zones
Jeffrey Havelin, P.E.
This (one-hour) course is based on the FEMA construction guidelines for crawlspace foundations used for residential buildings, which are located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).
Crawlspace foundations are commonly used to elevate the lowest floors of residential buildings located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). This course provides guidance on crawlspace construction and supports a recent policy decision to allow construction of crawlspaces with interior grades up to 2 feet below the lowest adjacent exterior grade (LAG), referred to as below-grade crawlspaces, provided that other requirements are met. Prior to that decision, below-grade crawlspaces were considered basements under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Floodplain Management Regulation definitions at 44 CFR 59.1 and were not permitted below the BFE. This requirement had been established because below-grade crawlspace foundation walls are exposed to increased forces during flood conditions, such as hydrostatic and saturated soil forces.
In many parts of the country, a common practice is to construct crawlspaces with the interior floor 1 or 2 feet below-grade by either (1) back-filling against the exterior of the foundation wall or (2) excavating the crawlspace area to construct footings that result in a below-grade crawlspace floor. Because FEMA wishes to recognize common construction practices that do not increase flood damage, FEMA recently completed a review of the policy for residential crawlspace construction. In this review, the construction practices for below-grade crawlspaces were examined to determine whether a crawlspace that was 1 or 2 feet below grade would increase the flood damage potential to the foundation walls or result in additional damages to the building.
This course is based entirely on the Technical Bulletin (11-01) as published by the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, publication number FIA-TB-11.
This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.
This course will specifically review crawlspace foundations used for residential buildings, which are located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), and will cover the following topics:
course would be very informative for engineers or architects who are involved
with the construction industry.
This course is based entirely on the Technical Bulletin (11-01) "Construction of Crawlspaces in Buildings Located in Special Flood Zones" as published by the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, publication number FIA-TB-11.
The link to the course materials is as follows:
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