Architect designing safer Girl Scout cabins

Something Good

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The newest Girl Scout camp is ready for troops, and feature cabins designed with safety in mind. Creating those cabins, however, was challenging, given Florida’s combination of woods, swamps, and a lot of water.

The first step for architect Jonathan Moore, whose consulting company InVision Advisors, oversaw the design, and contracting crews, was to ask the Girl Scouts what they wanted.

“The cabins are designed by the girls,” Moore says. “They told us what they wanted, we laid it out, and made it work.”

Florida doesn’t have specific codes relating to cabins, but structures do need to meet the same safety standards found at hotels. Moore needed to make sure the campground facilities could withstand hurricane-force winds, and protection against storm surges. Updated fire-safety measures had to be integrated as well, including emergency door and window exits, emergency lighting and railings for the elevated structures, and sprinklers. Those features may be simple to create in ordinary conditions, but are challenging in rough, remote terrain.

However, this complicated project is completed, and sets the standard for similar projects across the country.

“This is really a prototype for any cabin, and Girl Scout unit in the country, to build a code compliant cabin in the middle of the woods,” Moore said.

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