The Floating House: A Design by Students to Protect People from Floods

The Floating House: A Design by Students to Protect People from Floods

In the middle of natural disasters caused by global warming and the melting of the glaciers, students in the UK went above and beyond to protect the lives of natives. Students in the UK have put forward an innovative design of 'floating houses' that are not only flood-resistant but also provide shelter to the homeless.

The design revolves around the concept of a house that would float when a flood comes and provides safety to the people for at least six weeks during the disastrous weather. It can also serve the purpose of storage of multiple commodities like food, medicine, water, and sanitary products. It is developed to improve the natural disaster resilience within the native communities.

The design has been ranked internationally in the top six HUMLOG Global Disaster Preparedness Competition.

The contest had a total of 37 teamwork submissions from around 16 countries globally from 6 distinct continents, represented by a total of 21 business schools.

The contest mainly focused on community disaster resilience in the recent event of how the Covid-19 pandemic has worried the native communities all around the world on resilience and preparedness. The focal point of the HUMLOG Challenge mainly includes the efforts to avoid the potential impression of a humanitarian dilemma.

Floating homes

The current severe flooding in Vietnam has given rise to this idea. The data released by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) revealed that globally around 70 million people are affected by disastrous floods each year.

Vietnam is one of the countries in the world that has faced the most disasters recently and is likely to receive more in the future. The country faces multiple natural disasters due to its complex and distinct topography. The country has a coastline of 3440km which does not go in the favor of its fate.

Duc Toan Nguyen- a top project manager in Vietnam has stated that they have invented a new solution to the problems of people who have to evacuate their flood-hit-broken houses and migrate to higher land each year during the times of seasonal floods.

How does the floating-house work?

The house is tied to four supporting metal pilings which secure the building of the house in one place. Several barrels of recycled plastic are then attached beneath the ground floor, and the roof and walls are built using galvanized steel sheets.

So, in times of natural disaster or when a flood approaches, the plastic barrels used in the construction of the house helps in giving it a raft-like ability to float above the tides of the rising waters.

Duc further elaborates that designing this house makes them aware of an innovative idea of humanitarian logistics. Similarly, the process also enlightens them with their entrepreneurial skills to develop creative and new solutions for the people in need of it.

He, additionally mentions that the design of the house does not require any fancy architectural components, as the design is very straightforward, easy to construct, and workable for the experienced workforce.

What are the aims and objectives of the floating-house?

The goal of this design is to construct an innovative and reliable floating house concept that is both environmental-friendly and can be constructed using material that is locally available. The aim is to design a structure of houses to tackle floods and water-related crises. The floating house targets the local climatic condition. This context provides a basic ground for a strong and static elevation in the shape of a residential building to mitigate the forced evacuation of the human population in the event of a flood. The aim is to generate an energy-efficient design strategy to improve the resilience of households and nearby communities.

  1. Mitigations of climate disaster leading towards the damage and loss of property.
  2. Implementation of the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in the construction of the floating houses.
  3. Job Opportunities for the local people by establishing a self-economic center for employment support and livelihood generation through the production of food.
  4. Survey of critical resilience dimensions and establish the security and protection of the flood-hit people.
  5. Substitution of non-renewable resources with renewable resources for energy generation.
  6. Energy-efficient design approaches and passive actions to avoid the environmental fit GHG emissions.

Are there any other climate issues on offer?

A group belonging to Coventry Business School directed by a team of Duc Toan Nguyen, Pauline Nalumango, Oluwadamilola Gbuyiro, and Jesse David Mamodu, presented the idea in the HUMLOG contest Global Disaster Preparedness Competition along the side of one of the world's topmost business schools. MIT's Sloan of Management and Australia's Queensland University of Technology are two competitors on their list.

Duc mentions that although their team did not manage to win the competition, it has substantially reinforced their crew members' skills, which is extremely important for their careers in the near future.

Colorado State University Business School revolutionized a solution for their native community engagement in relief and mitigation for natural disasters induced by severe climatic conditions in Mozambique. The institute managed to win the first prize, worth approximately $5,000 (4,435). Their relief solution included a resilience kit which was crucial for the people living on the ground who strived to access food in the time of extreme weather calamities.

The innovative kit helped provide them with hermetically enclosed food pouches, beneficial crop seeds, and most importantly - an evacuation plan in the case of natural disaster.

The technique and joint nature of this idea are crucially responsive to enhance long-term sustainability that would help approximately 20,000 households and around 1 million people globally. The concept illustrates a new technique towards adaptation in response to the seasonal flood resilient buildings.

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