During the early construction phase, freeboard is the elevation of a building's lowest floor to a height above the minimal base flood elevation (BFE). A freeboard mandate, with height limitations based on zone or level of danger, can be introduced to a municipality's regulations. Otherwise referred to as minimum clear height or MCV.
Freeboard is important because it allows for emergency response equipment access without endangering responders. In addition, it gives occupants a sense of security since anything that happens below the freeboard level will not affect them.
Generally, the freeboard should be high enough to allow for adequate fire protection and life safety facilities such as fire exits and escape routes that are clearly marked. The freeboard should also provide sufficient clearance beneath it so that any malfunctioning fire equipment does not hit the floorboards or other hazards that may cause damage or injure people if they fall.
The freeboard must be determined during the design phase of construction for buildings over 7 feet tall, including residential high-rises. For lower-rise buildings, the freeboard can be estimated by adding 2 inches for every 10 feet increase in building height. However, this estimate is only an approximation since higher floors may have different loading conditions than lower ones and thus require thicker walls. As a rule of thumb, freeboard should be at least 1 foot for low-rise buildings and 2 feet for high-rises.
Typically, the height above the prescribed flood level (DFL), as decided by the competent authorities, is utilized to adjust for impacts like as wave action and localised hydraulic behavior. This is called the freeboard. The amount of freeboard required will depend on many factors like the type of structure, its age, location etc. Structures like bridges, buildings, dams etc require freeboard in case of flooding or high water levels so that they do not collapse.
The freeboard should be sufficient to prevent structural damage and loss of life. It must also be large enough to allow for effective rescue efforts. The required freeboard depends on many factors like the type of structure, its age, location etc. Generally, structures like bridges, dams, and highways require a greater amount of freeboard than houses or shopping malls because they are expected to withstand higher floods.
Freeboard is defined as the maximum vertical distance between the highest point of the structure and the surface of the water, when the structure is completely submerged. For example, if a river rises 10 feet over its normal level and then recedes, what was once its surface now becomes the freeboard for any buildings that stand in its path.
Freeboard is the safety margin that indicates to what depths a ship may be loaded under particular operating conditions, such as the kind of cargo, the waterways to be traversed, and the time of year. The freeboard is the distance between the upper edge of the deck and the upper surface of the water when there is no wave action.
The purpose of freeboard is to provide a safe loading depth for ships, especially those carrying hazardous cargoes. If the freeboard is not sufficient, the vessel could be damaged by high waves or even foundered by heavy loads. On shallow waters, a low freeboard can cause propeller damage and loss of control due to lack of traction. A vessel with a high freeboard can pass under low-hanging bridges without risk of damage and provides more room inside for goods being transported.
In naval architecture, freeboard is the maximum height of a vessel's hull above mean high water. It should not be confused with draught, which is the maximum depth of a vessel's hull below mean high water. For example, a vessel with a draft of 3 feet would have a freeboard of 9 feet if built according to current standards. However, if she were to be modified so that the water came within 6 inches of the top of her hull, her freeboard would only be 3 feet, even though her draft remains at 3 feet.