‘Floating’ modular homes to respond to climate change

A new ‘floating’ modular home built on water has been designed as a response to climate change and the affordable housing crisis.

Architects Grimshaw and Dutch manufacturing specialists Concrete Valley are behind the plans and say the concept is ‘free of the constraints of land-based construction’ and resilient to the threat of flooding from rising sea-levels.

The ‘Modular Water Dwellings’ can be orientated in different ways, depending on the location and they also maximise the use of durable and non-corroding materials, such as concrete and glass, ensuring a long design life that anticipates multiple occupants.

Concrete Valley’s factory is situated on a main industrial waterway in the Netherlands, allowing the homes to be transported whole along the water, removing the need for site assembly and reducing the embodied energy of construction, minimising waste, with materials easily recycled, and reduces environmental impact.

The homes use energy provided by solar roof panels and heat exchangers built into base boxes below the waterline. By developing a communal energy supply, the homes’ environmental efficiency has the potential to achieve near-zero energy use, according to the designers.

Grimshaw and Concrete Valley say they have committed to producing prototypes to test and refine their concept, with the aim of bringing the Modular Water Dwellings to market.

The Modular Water Dwellings has been shortlisted for the 2019 World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards, in the ‘Future Project – Experimental’ category, the winner of which will be announced at WAF in Amsterdam on Thursday December 5 2019

Jorrin ten Have, associate principal at Grimshaw, said: ‘In facing the realities of global transformations, be they climate change, increased urbanisation or reduced resources, it is critical that architects and designers respond to these concerns in a variety of ways.

‘By addressing specific challenges confronting current and future populations, the Modular Water Dwellings offer an affordable, sustainable and efficient alternative for safe and desirable housing.’


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