Floating Homes (The Netherlands)
Dura Vermeer, a construction and engineering company in the Netherlands has come up with a novel and obvious solution to the housing problem in areas susceptible to flooding – houses that float. Unlike normal houses, they are extremely flexible when it comes to flooding, able to deal with a sea level rise of up to five metres. In a country such as Holland, where flooding is a serious problem, this sort of technology could have an extremely important role to play. The company has developed two variations on the same theme: a floating house which, as the name suggests, sits permanently on the water like a boat; and an amphibious house that stands on dry land but, in the event of floods, is able to rise with the water. Both employ a large hollow concrete cube at their base to provide buoyancy, and are "moored" in pairs to huge steel piles to keep them anchored in one place, the piles enabling them to withstand currents as strong as you would find on the open seas. Water and electricity are brought in through flexible pipes that have been adapted to bend and move with the swell of the water. In every other respect they look and feel like normal homes -- albeit up-market designer homes -- with split-level accommodation, wooden balconies and clapboard exteriors painted cheery shades of yellow, green and blue. "The steel piles mean that residents experience no horizontal, side-to-side movement," explains van der Pol. Although there is a small amount of vertical, up and down movement, the users of these houses find the feeling quite enjoyable. These houses not only offer protection against floods, but also provide great quality of living and low environmental impact. So far Dura Vermeer has built 46 such water-friendly units - 14 floating and 32 amphibious - at Maasbommel, on the banks of the River Maas in Gelderland province in the centre of the country. The technology and design -- the latter provided by Dutch architectural firm Factor Architecten -- took three years to develop, although obtaining a government green light for the project took considerably longer. For further details, contact: Dura Vermeer Postbus 3098 2130 KB Hoofddorp The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)23 569 23 45 Fax: +31 (0)23 569 23 32
Sector: Disaster Management and Mitigation
Country: India
Area of Application: Housing, Flood prone areas
Keywords: Floating homes
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Development Status: Fully Commercialized
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Contact Person: UN-ESCAP/APCTT
Address: C-2 Qutab Institutional Area
City: New Delhi
Country: India
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