Floating Homes - 2 types
Flooding is a natural function of rivers. Sea levels are predicted to rise. There are two types of floating homes, permanently floating homes and homes that float only when flood waters swell, but sit on the ground during the dry season. Requiring the later on new construction within floodplains, and considering same for threatened shorelines, is one way to plan for the future. Although floating homes near the coast need protected waters, wave attenuation through wave walls and dykes (as used in Europe) are a future possibility. Inaction is costly. Some inspiration for those on waterways...
Lake Huron, Great Lakes -- Lake Huron's water levels vary dramatically from month-to-month, year-to-year. MOS Architects mos-office.net Photo by Florian Holzherr.
Lake Huron, Great Lakes. House was built on a steel platform structure with steel pontoons. mos-office.net Photo by Florian Holzherr.
On the Mississippi, the easiest homemade solution, foam blocks under your home. The 4 guide posts keep the house in place as it rises, just like a floating dock. buoyantfoundation.org
The Buoyant Foundation Project -- Dr. Elizabeth English explains the necessity of buoyant homes. A steel frame that holds the flotation blocks is attached to the underside of the house. There are four 'vertical guidance' poles not far from the corners of the house. The tops of the poles are attached to the steel frame. The poles telescope out of the ground, allowing the house to move up and down. Please visit buoyantfoundation.org
The Float House, designed by Morphosis Architects and students from UCLA collects its own water and generates its own electricity and is capable of floating as high as 12-feet on rising flood waters. Flotation is a single unit of expanded polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber reinforced concrete. The panelized walls, windows, interior finishes and kit roof are prefabricated and assembled on-site. The screens slide in front of glass for hurricane winds. Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, which is dedicated to building affordable and green housing for New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina, has built 50 LEED homes in New Orleans Lower 9th Ward so far, with 100 more under construction. He has built them all for under $150,000. makeitrightnola.org
Holland -- Green roofed SchwimmHausBoat by German architects Confused-Direction -- is a permanently floating home. Note that the floatation itself is not very bulky. sascha-akkermann.de
Maasbommel -- The Netherlands is readying itself for future flooding. The Dutch have realized that building higher dikes to keep out the sea is no longer the solution. Here's a community of 37 homes near the Maas River dyke, a river which is known for its seasonal flooding. These homes cost less than 5% more than the cost of conventional construction. Picture above is during a swell. Designed by Factor Architecten
Maasbommel, Netherlands -- Amphibious homes that rest on land but are built to rise when waters rise. When the river swells the house will float as much as 18 feet. Floats back down as the water subsides. Designed by Factor Architecten
Maasbommel, Netherlands. Houses sit on hollow concrete foundations that are attached to six iron piers. The fat posts in between the houses are the guides that keep the homes in place as they glide up and down. Factor Architecten
IJburg district of Amsterdam floating neighbourhoods with docks and jetties instead of roadways... Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer rohmer.nl
Amsterdam, IJ Lake. Lightweight 3 story steel homes are supported by concrete “tubs” submerged in the water to a depth of half a story. Bedrooms are on the lowest floor. Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer rohmer.nl Photo: Roos Aldershoff.
Amsterdam, IJ Lake. The neighbourhood has docks and slips instead of roadways. Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer rohmer.nl
Amsterdam IJ Lake -- Seventy-five floating homes and waterside dyke houses. Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer. rohmer.nl
Netherlands -- Regenboogkade -- Drive the cars inland during floods...better yet imagine green transport. Plus 31 Architects plus31architects.nl
Borneo-Sporenburg, Netherlands. A new interpretation of traditional Dutch canal houses. For more info and pics see here: west8.nl Pic: Room 19 flickr.com
Ladner, British Columbia, on the Fraser River. There are 500 floating homes in San Francisco, another 500 in Seattle, 500 in Vancouver, 3,500 in Portland, Oregon, 99 on Latsch Island on the Mississippi River in Minnesota and 40 in Yellowknife Bay, NWT. flickr.com
Oregon. Tomahawk Moorage.
Scarborough Bluffs, Ontario, Canada. Instead of racoons at your back door - ducks. flickr.com
Floating Homes in Lake Union, Seattle from the air.
The Floating Homes in Yellowknife Bay, Northwest Territories tend to be colorful.
Photo by Arctic Man flickr.com
Pretty floating home at the Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor, Richmond, CA.
Image: CT Young. flickr.com
Seattle Cottage on Union Lake.
Thames River near Hampton Court: Taggs Island, UK. Everyone on Taggs Island lives on a floating home; there are 40 hugging the perimeter and 20 in the central lagoon, all attached to piles driven into the riverbed. More info: taggs-island.com Pic Grahamsjz flickr.com
Minnesota. Every year the river homes become locked into the ice in the Latsch Island Boathouse Community on the Mississippi River. The extra weight of thick ice and snow needs to be removed from the roofs and decks of floating homes. The residents of this community also tie their homes to the trees during the spring swell. Pic: Floatin Winona Project fotovisura.com
Lake Union, Seattle. Exterior shots for the 1993 "Sleepless in Seattle" movie where shot here. Seattle Daily Photo flickr.com
Floating House Street in Esquimalt, British Columbia.
Pic: Ruth Anderson
Lake Union, Seattle, Washington. Aluminum panels (polluting to manufacture) and rain screen cladding with fiber cement panels sheath the exterior. Vandeventer and Carlander Architects. vc-arch.com
The kitchen of above home. Hydronic in-floor heating utilizes an energy efficient heat pump system and the ventilation system utilizes a heat exchanger. vc-arch.com
Lake Union Float Home
by Northwest Architects
More pics: designsnw.com
gh3 Architects designed this boathouse for the photographer’s studio ‘Williams Studio’. The boathouse is located on Stony Lake, Canada. gh3.ca
Portland, Oregon, Fennell Residence -- Robert Harvey Oshatz Architects.
Pictures: Cameron Neilson, lots more here: oshatz.com
Lake Union in Seattle, Washington
Lake Austin in Austin, Texas. Lake Flato Architects
Lots more here: lakeflato.com
Lake Union, Seattle. New Craftsman style.
The most famous of the Sausalito houseboats, the "Taj Majal", a miniature version of the Taj Mahal in India. For the last four decades it's been a private home, although it was a bed and breakfast for a few years, now it's a private home again. flickr.com
Sausalito floating homes have a history that stretches over a century. This home made from an old tugboat. A double sense of security. Source
Houseboats in Kashmir.
Not homes but rentals for 135. + a night.
Vietnam, Ha Long Bay, where people have been living in floating homes for centuries... Pic: Mikel Bilbao © 2010 mikelbilbao.photoshelter.com
Powell Lake, British Columbia floating cabin on log raft. See a picture of the log flotation raft under construction here. tinyhouseblog.com More pics here: powellriverbooks.blogspot.com
A custom-built floating cabin in Perry Creek, nearby the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. Builder unknown. Photo by Marcus Peabody.
Holland. This is a two level home. The bedrooms and bathrooms are below sea level. plus31architects.com
Holland. Plus 31 Architects, see their website for many more floating home designs. plus31architects.com Photo: Iwan Baan
The Last Resort -- The design recently won a competition, and with funding in place the team expects to begin fabrication soon. Roof-integrated solar panels generate electricity for the two electric engines that propel the home. RAFAA Architecture & Designs rafaa.ch
Netherlands -- ‘New Water‘ will be the world’s first floating apartment complex, The Citadel. They will use 25% less energy than a conventional building due to the use of water cooling techniques. Architect: WaterStudio waterstudio.nl
Floating Island Seoul -- The world's largest artificial 'floating island' on Seoul's Han River is a 20,400 square-meter development, housing three inter-connected cultural centers. It was privately funded at a cost of about $88 million. It is scheduled for completion September, 2011. miceseoul.com
Floating Hotel -- The connecting bridge is planted with trees, giving the impression of land projecting into the sea. Designed by the Giancarlo Zema Design Group for an Arabian commission. giancarlozema.com
Floating City planned for 2015 completion in the Maldives. The green covered star-shape building symbolizes the Maldivian innovative route to conquer climate change. This will become a location for conventions about climate change, water management and sustainability. Architect Koen Olthuis--Waterstudio.NL. Developer Dutch Docklands--dutchdocklands.com
Lilypads: floating eco-cities. Each 50,000-person pad is a designed as a zero-emission floating community that uses solar, wind, tidal and biomass power to generate energy for its inhabitants. vincent.callebaut.org
Floating Stadium. Travels to the venue via a blend of hybrid energies using water, wind and solar power. German design firm, Stadium Concept. stadiumconcept
Solar panels and roof garden. Equipped with an incinolet toilet which burns waste instead of creating more sewage. Drinking water is collected from rainstorms and filtered into a glass partition wall inside. The inner temperature of the boat is regulated by a geothermal pond loop which runs from the bottom of the water source through a piling supporting the dock and into the floor of the boat. By Wyatt Little -- Houston, Texas coroflot.com
Starting around 18,000 years ago, when the last ice age began receeding, till present day, sea level has risen by around 125 metres (about 400 feet) Source. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts a rise of up to 1 metre by 2100. Source. About 120,000 years ago, during the previous interglacial, sea level was for a short time, about 6 meters higher than today. Source.
Kinds of Flotation Systems being used -- issue most not yet green:
Log floats, solid styrofoam encased in rubber, foam filled steel pontoons, positive concrete, concrete pontoons, concrete and foam, wood and foam, polyethylene shell with solid core polystyrene block molded inside, fiberglass and envirofloat...
Waste: Incinerator toilets, compost toilets or a hook up to sewer services along the dock.
In Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 11-626, a decision was rendered that floating structures be treated as land-based homes, not as a vessel subject to maritime laws.
We can now reimagine this scene.
How it Works/ How to:
Bamboo Floating Homes
Floating Mega Cities