Smart Vent Architectural Benefits, both professional and personal…

Smart Vent in my profession:

When I design a home for a client, I strive, first and foremost, to provide them a beautiful home that fits their lifestyle and one that they will love for years to come. Just as important, that home must perform to all of the challenges imposed by Mother Nature. A successful design is a balance of good thoughtful design, proven materials and structural integrity that all work seamlessly together. As an architect working primarily in a coastal environment, my work is subjected to a unique set of challenges brought on by extreme weather conditions prevalent to this region. I am obligated to stay educated on the best materials and systems available to provide my clients with a home that can address these challenges and protect their investment. Smart Vent has proven to be the best option available to address the issue of flood design, and provides an owner both protection and insurance savings for years to come. Smart Vent has addressed the problem of flooding with a simple, clean design that offers big results. This product has allowed me to meet (and exceed) code requirements, without letting the code drive the design, providing more freedom to meet the aesthetic desires of my client.

Smart Vent on a personal level:

My wife and I recently finished construction of our own bay front home in Florida’s Gulf Coast region. Our property is situated in an AE7 Flood zone, so we are subject to slow rise/slow recede flooding, which this area has experienced during major hurricanes over the years. Our neighbors had told us stories of storm surge from Hurricane Opal in 1995 flooding the bay and putting water in the ground level of their homes. We obviously needed to design a home that addressed the issue of flooding. The easy approach would have been to lift the entire home on stilts. We did not want to take this approach for multiple reasons: First, we knew we wanted an enclosed garage. We also needed a lot of storage and lot restrictions would not allow us to expand the footprint further so we needed the storage beneath the living level. Additionally, the existing homes in the area, many of which were built prior to the more stringent code requirements, were not raised on stilts and we wanted our house to blend into the neighborhood context. Most importantly, we wanted a home that addressed our lifestyles and our needs, which we could not achieve with a home lifted on stilts 10’-0” above grade. Smart Vent provided us the opportunity to enclose the space beneath our home, and by integrating the vents into the trim detail, they are basically invisible.

Throughout the entire design process, Garrett Tirpak, a representative for Smart Vent, was available to answer any questions and educate us on the FEMA flood design guidelines. Garrett and the others at Smart Vent have proven to be a wealth of knowledge and are always eager to help. By adhering to FEMA’s Guidelines and specifying Flood-Damage Resistant Materials for the construction of the ground level enclosures, we gained usable enclosed square footage without raising our flood insurance premium or putting our investment at risk of damage. My wife and I are paying thousands less per year than some of our neighbors who have enclosed ground level space but have not followed the FEMA guidelines and utilized Smart Vents. This product represents a very affordable initial investment that continues to pay itself off for years to follow. The yearly savings alone are reason enough to continue specifying Smart Vents on my projects, but the freedom of design provided by this product is why it is an architect’s best friend.

Jonathan Hampel, AIA AR97507
A BOHEME Design, LLC AA26001879

Jonathan Hampel, AIA
Jonathan Hampel, AIA
Rosemary Beach, FL
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