We’ve heard of a water bed, but a water house? It brings to mind something built on or in the ocean, but it actually has nothing to do with the view. Architect Matyas Gutai is a firm believer that a house can be kept at an optimal temperature through the use of water, according to CNN. He has built a prototype of a water house in his hometown of Kecskemét in Hungary.
A water house is not completely without standard construction materials, such as glass and steel. In fact, panels of steel and glass make up the overall structure of a water house to equalize temperature throughout the building. All of these elements work together to create comfort within the home.
Gutai says he got the idea for a water house after visiting open-air baths surrounded by snow and noticed that he remained comfortable within the water. From there, he made it a goal to implement this concept into his work.
A monitoring system similar to central heating maintains the indoor temperature, and the building can also warm itself with excess heat stored in the foundations. “Our panel can heat and cool the building itself; the water inside the panel does the very same job as heating,” Gutai tells CNN.
“It saves energy, when you compare it to a similar building with large glass surfaces — it’s a very clean and sustainable solution,” he says.
To tackle the issue of freezing water, Gutai says that natural solvents are added to the water within the panels to keep it flowing in cold weather. If a panel were to break, special joint elements would keep the water from spreading to sealed panels. However, Gutai understands that a water house is not immune to all problems, specifically price.
A water house can be more expensive to construct than a traditional house. That being said, the energy savings may outweigh this drawback over time.
For more information on water-based houses and the construction process, check out Gutai’s research on liquid engineering.