Popular Science - - BUILT TO OUTLAST: POPSCI 2018 -

As Hur­ri­cane Har­vey demon­strated in 2017, huge swaths of the U.S. are in­creas­ingly prone to se­vere storms that knock out power and flood hun­dreds of thou­sands of homes. Architects have taken note, cre­at­ing new types of float­ing and am­phibi­ous homes world­wide. Here are some of their pro­tec­tive fea­tures.


One of the ways to safe­guard a house from floods is to move it up and out of the way. Dutch ar­chi­tect Koen Olthuis has de­signed float­ing homes in the Nether­lands, Dubai, and China that can rise in or­der to dodge an en­croach­ing del­uge. Some of these houses rest on hy­draulic sys­tems that can lift them up to 40 feet above stormy wa­ters and re­main sta­ble even in winds up to 156 miles per hour. WATER­PROOF UTIL­I­TIES

An am­phibi­ous home on an is­land in the River Thames, built by U.K.-based Baca Architects, fea­tures ter­raced gar­dens that act as an early-warn­ing sys­tem. If they flood, the owners know that the house is about to be threat­ened by wa­ter. When it rises up off its foun­da­tion, all of its util­i­ties re­main con­nected through ele­phant ca­bling—a flex­i­ble cas­ing that car­ries elec­tric­ity, wa­ter, and sewage. EF­FI­CIENT SYS­TEMS

Hur­ri­cane Katrina proved the im­por­tance of build­ing for ex­treme con­di­tions around New Or­leans. The FLOAT House, de­signed by Mor­pho­sis Architects, can pro­vide its own wa­ter and power. The specif­i­cally sloped roof fun­nels rain­wa­ter into cis­terns, where a fil­tra­tion sys­tem ren­ders it drink­able. A geo­ther­mal heat pump cy­cles air to warm or cool the in­doors with Earth’s

45- to-75-de­gree sub­sur­face temps.

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