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The beach front Westgate Condominium in Naples Florida, contacted H&M to evaluate their FEMA flood zones for a building expansion project. Initial review of topographic survey data and FEMA numerical model indicated that modification of the Flood Hazard zone (Zone‐VE) would be difficult using standard FEMA procedures and assumptions. H&M conducted a site visit and contacted local officials and the FEMA contracted reviewer to assess available options.

H&M coordinated with FEMA reviewer to tailor a procedure including the existing seawall located seaward of the property which was not considered in the FEMA process. The procedure was later approved by FEMA, and the seawall inclusion in the analysis provided an increased level of protection from a 100‐year storm surge generated waves. This computed added protection resulted in the lowering of the base Flood Elevation (BFE) in the area of concern from a Zone VE‐12 to a Zone AE‐11.

Through a collaborative effort with FEMA, H&M was able to apply this procedure successfully with other similar projects. H&M demonstrated its experience and capabilities in applying its technical expertise in coastal engineering to the design of customized solutions for FEMA flood zone related issues. 

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