Houses able to float being developed to address flooding

by
in environment on (#1GKEC)
story imageA radical new solution is being proposed to solve the housing crisis - homes that float. Designers say homes that would rise with flood waters could be built on land otherwise deemed unsuitable because of flooding concerns. Each home can react to flood risk because the guide piles allow the building to rise in significant flood conditions, because of the buoyant basement structure. As flood waters recede the houses resettle to their original levels.

This is hardly the first attempt to develop land vulnerable to flooding. There are 20,000 fully-floating and can-float homes already built in the Netherlands.

Back in the mid-1870s, Sacramento, California raised the level of its downtown by approximately 10 feet (3 meters) to eliminate devastating flooding. They built reinforced brick walls on downtown streets, and filled the resulting street walls with dirt. Building owners either raising their building slowly with the use of numerous screw jacks, or buried the ground floor. Thus the previous first floors of buildings became the basements.

Of course these solutions are no help if it is just the value of your house and mortgage that is "underwater".

Re: An innocent question (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-06-09 21:05 (#1GPG8)

I don't want to be too negative but there's definitely a case for simplicity.
The articulation to allow it to climb and descend the stilts constitutes a vulnerability. What if one or more points binds, and it cocks and jams because it's trying to rise crookedly?
There's an episode of Grand Designs (S14E7) "The Floating House" [1][2], it looks like the same design. They had ballast under the basement floor to help it rise smoothly. You'd have to check it often or have it automated (more points of failure).

Another thought I had was silt washed under the house. Then it may not sit flat or sink to the original level.

[1] http://www.constructionmanagermagazine.com/news/amphibious-grand-design-ready-take-water/
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Grand_Designs_episodes#Series_14_.282014.29
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