Rising Flood Waters Inspire Floating Houses in the UK

International
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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(Courtesy Baca Architects)

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

Floods last spring in the United Kingdom have inspired a flood-resistant housing design that works with floodwaters instead of against them—homes that rise from their foundations with floodwaters and return to ground level once waters have dissipated. Baca Architects has proposed the first “amphibious house” in the UK, on the banks of the Thames River in Buckinghamshire, that if successful could reverse a decision to ban new construction in low-lying areas.

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

The house will rest just over 32 feet from the river’s edge at ground level making it possible for owners to enjoy gardens, but during an intense flood, predicted once every hundred years, the concrete base will rise as it fills with water lifting the home’s light timber frame, allowing it to float like a buoy. Four vertical posts keep the structure from floating away.

The garden will be terraced at differing levels and will show rising water levels at each increment giving residents ample warning time to decide whether or not evacuation is necessary.

Although still a fairly new technology, the first amphibious house was built in the Netherlands, while others are being built New Orleans. The design was so successful that Dutch company, Deltasync, has designed a series of floating cities to compensate for rising waters in low-lying areas.

Baca Architects’ design will have a life expectancy of 100 years and would be the biggest amphibious house at 2,420 square feet, but at around $2.5 million it is also 20 to 25 percent more costly than a traditional home of the same size. [Via Gizmag.]

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

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