It’s really no secret at this point: The oceans are rising at an unprecedented rate. A recent scientific study published in Nature nearly doubled previous predictions for sea-level rise by 2500, and many experts now believe the oceans will rise by nearly six feet by the end of this century alone.
That said, many cities are preparing for the inevitable. New York City is funding a $100-million flood protection plan after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Countries like the Netherlands have built dams and dykes to withstand a 1-in-10,000 year storm, but even these bulwarks can only hold back the oceans for so long. Nearly 200 million people worldwide live in high-risk coastal flooding zones, and in the United States, more than 36 million people currently face the threat of flooding. As most recently illustrated by Hurricane Katrina, a sudden swell of the ocean can be unbelievably catastrophic.
Will flood-proof homes be the last line of defense? These innovative, buoyant homes look to withstand the tribulations of a coming turbulent and unpredictable future. Vietnamese firm H&P Architects recently completed the Blooming Bamboo Home, which is raised on stilts to deal with severe weather and floodwaters up to five feet high.
The pre-fabricated, flood-proof Float Home, designed by Morphosis Architects, is an attempt to make a home built to withstand the next Katrina-scale event. In the event of a flood, the house’s foundation acts as a raft, rising along with the water level. Features like a rainwater catcher and solar panels make the house self-sustaining when the home — and the entire city — is off the grid.
As cities scramble to come up with flood plans, perhaps we’ll see more of these floating home designs in flood-prone areas.