Earth’s vastest resource is water – it literally covers 70% of the planet. Compare it with the fact that mass industrialization and global population boom has contributed infinitely to the emission of green house gasses. The heat produced from burning so much fossil fuel has led to global warming, and the biggest impact of that has been the rising temperature of our oceans.
Not only are our arctic ice-caps melting because of this phenomenon, but the scale of natural disasters is taking on a whole new level. Houston’s Hurricane Harvey was just the tip of the iceberg. It left a flurry of destruction in its wake – from damaged homes, flooded buildings, and a lot more. If we don’t start taking proper precautions immediately, we’ll be facing situations that are a lot worse. While many measures to reduce carbon-emissions have been globally put to the task, the fact is that we cannot simply remain idle while waiting for them to take effect. This is why, Dutch architect Koen Olthuis has come up with a whole new series of residential designing: a home that is located on water, is carbon neutral, and also hurricane proof.
These “floating homes” are the combined brainchild of Waterstudio (Olthuis’s company) and Arkup (an “avant-garde life on water” company). Specs declare that each home unit rounds up to about 4350 square feet, and comprises of 4 bedrooms along with 4.5 bathrooms. It would be powered by a combination of 30-kW solar panels and 1000 kWh of lithium batteries. It’ll also be installed with a water purification and waste management system that can operate off the grid. The rainwater is actually stored in the hull while being collected from the roof. The 24×12 foot terrace provides adequate amount of room to move about and enjoy the view.
There’s a lot of thought that’s been put into the actual design. Arkup even says that these homes could be a new way of living on water. As far as the hurricane resilience is concerned, each unit is equipped with shock-resistant glass panels, and a hydraulic self-elevating system that swoops the home up during heavy rain or hurricanes. These hydraulic legs can even extend 40 feet and move at the speed of 7 knots (8mph).
These floating homes are an ideal example of how we can design our built environment to positively suit the earth. From practice to theory, only time can tell how effective these structures can be, but its definitely a step in the right direction!