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Floating Houses Designed For Low-Lying Countries

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the down-the-river dept.

Science 173

Zothecula writes "Venice may soon be sharing its 'Floating City' moniker thanks to a research project developing 'amphibian houses' that are designed to float in the event of a flood. The FLOATEC project sees the primary market for the houses as the Netherlands, whose low-lying land makes it particularly susceptible to the effects of rising sea levels. Such housing technology could also allow small island-states in the Indian and Pacific Oceans that are at the risk of disappearing in the next 100 years to maintain their claim to statehood through the use of artificial, floating structures."

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uh-oh (4, Funny)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305746)

Floating houses for low-lying countries?!?

Do they know something I don't?

Signed,

    Suspicious, from the Netherlands

Re:uh-oh (1, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305794)

'Floating houses' get 30 million Google hits so either this idea has been very successful in a very short time or it's very old news.
What could it be....

Re:uh-oh (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306140)

A boat?

Re:uh-oh (3)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306172)

Note that the specific phrase "floating houses" gets less than 300,000 hits.

Re:uh-oh (4, Interesting)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306388)

sarah palin worships atan and eats babies also get over two thousand results, and Google prompts you with the question, "do you mean sarah palin worships satan and eats babies?" The search results do not mean what you think they mean.

Re:uh-oh (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306750)

The truth will out!

Re:uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37307206)

sarah palin worships atan

And I thought she was one of the believers of e = 3 = pi

Re:uh-oh (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306568)

Or, the 'floating houses' of TFA aren't the sole usage of that term. Which, unsurprisingly, is what I find when I actually take the time to look at the actual results rather than just the numbers.

When I search on 'floating houses', the first ten pages of images are almost totally either conventional houseboats, or the newer style which are (more or less) actually conventional houses built on barges. The same is true of the links - some are the houses that are the topic of TFA, but overwhelmingly they are on either conventional houseboats conventional houses built on barges.

Re:uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306756)

It's old news, I remember seeing images from the first prototypes about a decade ago.

Re:uh-oh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305838)

Nigs are so goddamned stupid sometimes. Not regular black people but niggers. Black people just happen to have a permanent tan. Niggers are idiots and think being an aggressive thug makes them succeed at life. See the difference? It has nothing to do with race so quit wetting your beds about racism you faint-hearted knee-jerk bastards. Lots of whites are like this too. The word nigger has transcended its original limitations and any member of any group is eligible for this name.

I was grocery shopping and looking at steaks. Some packages said "Loin Strip". It's a strip steak or a New York Strip or whatever you want to call it. It's fucking beef and clearly sold as beef. A group -- note the dumb ones are always in groups -- of niggers decided to unwittingly parade their functionally illiterate stupidity. One of them said, "ooh yo! dis be LION steak!" That's how it sounded. You would really like to think in a group of people at least one person would point out that this is not what is actually printed in plain black-and-white. No, instead these niggers echoed each others' amazement at this new discovery of fucking lion meat being sold at a store.

Do I need to explain this more clearly? They are fucking morons. These are people who might disagree with Obama's politics if you asked them about it without mentioning any names. But they would vote for Obama in droves just because he's black. "He be one of US, yo!" Yeah. A Harvard law professor with political connections really understands day-to-day life in an American ghetto in a big city near you. Sure he does. Because he superficially looks like you. No, there's no flaw in that theory...

This shit has to stop.

Re:uh-oh (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305868)

Floating houses are old hat... Being from Seattle, WA I hear that damned "so do you live in a houseboat like that movie, Sleepless in Seattle" all the time. And for the record, I don't - there's really no flat land in Seattle, it's all hills with lakes and rivers.

Re:uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306428)

What does Seattle not having any flat land have to do with a houseboat?

Re:uh-oh (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306714)

Obviously, if you park a houseboat on a hill it tips over. Do I have to do all the thinking round here?

Re:uh-oh (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306496)

This is the case all along the Pacific really. The Pacific coast is all mountains except for cities built in river delta's (eg Vancouver/Richmond BC, Seattle/Tacoma WA, San Francisco CA, Tokyo Japan), which if it weren't for the fact that these large cities aren't going to float a condo building, aren't the target of the article.

Rather the target is landfilled areas (which all named above cities have) with a cheaper alternative to pilings that go into bedrock. It might be possible to float a 3-story house (with the basement and first floor effectively "an entrance/car garage and nothing more") so that in the case of a catastrophic flood the upper 2 floors float up linearly at high tide, and come straight back down when the tide subsides. Or in the more likely case of a Tsunami, can be pushed off the fixed foundation and the uppermost floors become an instant houseboat-liferaft. The house and occupants might survive, though a new house would need to be built.

But in case you're not really familiar with Venice. Venice is literately built on a hundred or so islands centuries ago. The city has subsided 30cm in the last century, and has had tides of nearly 2meters. The buildings don't float, so literately the lower (stone) floors of the buildings are completely useless as shop/storage/sleeping areas since the possibility of a flood coming in and washing everything away is always there. They have flood alerts like Japan has Tsunami alerts.

So the article itself is an attempt to long-term solve a problem instead of a short term (eg put the building on stilts) where erosion and rotting would otherwise prevent reclamation. These areas are as effectively useless as Atlantic areas prone to storm surge in a hurricane. The average home in the US is built with wood and will last only about 200 years should it not succumb to fire or rot (Pacific coast cities are prone to mold and rot, and therefor have to have suitable breathability.)

Taking the article one step further, in theory one could build a permanently moored "boat" that in the event of a tsunami or storm surge will float in an area surrounded by at least 3 pillars so the house "boat" part itself will go up and down with the water rise. Crazier things have been done http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McBarge

"Only a fool builds their home upon the sand"

Re:uh-oh (3, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306040)

It's indeed nothing new. The Netherlands has them for decades already. The only somewhat-new part here is that these houses are amphibian (i.e. floating only when there is a flood, most of the time sitting on dry ground), and even that's something I've heard about for well a decade or so at least. And yes that's also related to Dutch houses.

Indeed reading TFA it's a Dutch company (Dura Vermeer) that's been developing such homes for the past 12 years. Nothing new under the sun. Also it seems no spectacular new developments in the field recently, there is ongoing innovation of course but it doesn't seem to be game-changing.

Oh well. It's good filler for the /. home page at least.

Re:uh-oh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306698)

And those semi-floating houses (the ones that sit on dry land, but float in case of flooding) are used in the parts of the Netherlands that are *above* sea level. To be more precise, they are located in the outer portions of the river beds. The bits that are dry 99% of the year, but flood for a few days after heavy rain etc.

The parts of the Netherlands that are below sea level have so much pumping capacity, backup pumps/generators and areas where water can temporarily be stored, that flooding of residential areas has never been a problem. At least not in the last 50 years. Except in some very isolated cases where dykes broke (Wilnis for instance).

Re:uh-oh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306084)

Floating houses...

In my country, we call these contraptions "boats".

Re:uh-oh (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306742)

If you don't know that we're sinking my fellow Dutchman, then you have been living under a rock.
However with the population density we have here in the Netherlands, free standing houses are a massive waste of space, and I don't see tower blocks floating any day soon.

Re:uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37307030)

The North of the Netherlands is some distance above sea level. To make up for this the southerners are removing the natural gas from underneath it and bringing it down to the same level as the rest.

Re:uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37307064)

Actually, it's not really a population density problem. I remember a documentary from about 2004 that stated that if everyone here lived in a free standing house with a garden and the whole lot we would waste about 11% of our total surface are we have. Also note that building here takes ages due to the bureaucracy corporation have to face. Some of them look elsewhere to build like belgium where they can build a residential within half a year.

Add to that that the west part is sinking(water draining from the clay, thus the clay becomes more compact) and the east part is rising(pushed up by the alps) and we have a interesting time ahead. I live in the west part near the coast and realize that it's inevitable that one day this will all be reclaimed again by the sea.

Re:uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306744)

We already got one!
[/monty-python]
This concept already exists in The Netherlands in Maasbommel:
http://www.henkmoesbergen.nl/handelsonderneming/czhoutskeletbouw/drijvendewoningenmaasbommel/index.htm

Re:uh-oh (1)

tancque (925227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306808)

We better watch the dikes for these people might try to create or increase their market!

signed,
Living below sealevel, The Netherlands

Claim to Statehood? (1)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305754)

Really? What does "Claim to Statehood" actually mean to you when your house is now floating in the middle of Nowhere, Pacific Ocean. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the commute to work just got more entertaining...

Re:Claim to Statehood? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305796)

You just need a floating post office that companies can locate their HQ in as a tax dodge. Of course, they'll first need to pay the necessary fees...

Re:Claim to Statehood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306060)

I heard somewhere that in order to claim an area at sea as your own (as opposed to it just being considered international waters) you need a natural piece of land. This is why countries get so pissy over islands that are basically just uninhabitable rocks: because it gives them a claim to the waters in that area. If these people have nothing but floating homes and submerged land, they're not going to be considered countries anymore.

Re:Claim to Statehood? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306386)

We might have to make an exception to that policy for the teeny little islands that have cool national TLDs...

Can you imagine the outcry if .cx, .fm, and .tv were wiped out by the rising seas?

Re:Claim to Statehood? (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306954)

Interesting points. But surely the international legal status of an area previously claimed and recognized should remain in case of it drowning if buildings are floating and anchored there or perched on sticks...?

Are there any precedents for a case like this?

How did they ever think of that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305760)

...Considering that you can go out and buy a houseboat in Seattle or many other places, I wonder how anyone ever thought to make houses that float. Genius, I say!

this sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305782)

This kinda reminds me of that giant floating refugee camp in the novel Snow Crash.

That didn't exactly end well for anyone..

Wrong "Floating" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305788)

Misread tweet as "Floating Houses Designed For Low-Flying Countries", clicked, and now disappointed. Also less confused.

Everybody, listen up (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305792)

I havetold you before and I am reminding you nicely once again that I am GOD. Since I first madethis discovery three days ago, I have sought to encourage you all to comply with your duty to worship me. Soon, if you do not get with the program, I'm gonna have to release the plagues. You don't wantmeto do that, trust me. I am GOD!

Re:Everybody, listen up (2)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305972)

If you're God then you can see everything. Tell me, how many penises am I holding up right now?

illegal submersion (1)

igny (716218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305800)

From a communique by some island's Ministry of international affairs.

We and all other nations in the world do not recognize the occupation and annexation of our land by the Pacific ocean as legal. We shall maintain out statehood and membership to the UN even though evicted from our land onto a floating reservation. Even though this may last for several millenia, we consider the current situation as temporary only

landfill (1, Interesting)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305826)

I think those disappearing islands would be better off digging up the top layer of dirt and raising their island with imported garbage, then cover with top soil and plants. I would think you only need 2 meters to keep their island homes above water, and the first world nations would likely cover the full cost just to be rid of the junk. Having a floating home won't do any good without a job to pay for it, you may as well move to somewhere dry.

Re:landfill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305880)

you may as well move to somewhere dry.

That only works for countries that don't disappear underwater. Or you think most countries would give citizenship for a whole island?

Re:landfill (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305906)

I'm pretty sure that New Zealand would accept environmental refugees from its Pacific neighbours.

Re:landfill (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305954)

Would? We already do. And by the way, some of us here aren't complete douches and think helping your neighbors is the right thing to do. We're all humans and my family certainly didn't evolve here naturally. I have no more right to this land than you or anyone else.

Re:landfill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306192)

douches help women to clean their vaginas

Re:landfill (2)

raynet (51803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37307250)

Actually douches are bad for vaginas...

pinko (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306310)

what we need is a free market solution. maybe if we started charging money for seawater, people wouldn't be so wasteful with it.

Re:landfill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306818)

In NZ its spelt neighbours

And there are already more Cook Islanders in Auckland than in the Cooks, (and Samoans and Tongans)
but unlike the Hispanics in the USA, most of them speak English (Or Maori which is NZ's other official language)

Re:landfill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37307112)

Pedantry and spelling fail. Now go squeeze through the door of your trailer and jerk off over pictures of Sarah Palin, you fat lardass redneck.

Re:landfill (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306802)

They've been doing it for years, if you define "environmental refugee" as "talented rugby player".

Re:landfill (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306070)

old problem: rising sea levels

new problem: cancer

Re:landfill (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306130)

DEAR POOFTAHS,

IT IS LABOR DAY IN AMERICA. THIS IS ONE OF THE DAYS WE CELEBRATE THE FACT THAT WE KICKED YOUR SORRY ASSES OFF OF OUR CONTINENT LO THOSE YEARS AGO. UNLIKE THE 4TH, THIS DAY IS JUST PLAIN ABOUT BEING LAZY. HOWEVER LIKE THE 4TH WE CELEBRATE THAT WE ARE NOT BRITISH SUBJECTS AND WE DO IT WITH COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF BEER AND CHEESEBURGERS STUFFED DOWN OUR AMERICAN THROATS

WE'LL CHECK BACK WITH YOU DENTALLY CHALLENGED TEA DRINKERS ON TUESDAY

BEST REGARDS AND CHEERIO OLD CHAPS

The lead research partner in the FLOATEC project is Dura Vermeer, a Dutch company that over the past 12 years has become a market leader in the floating building market. Although it might seem difficult, Dura Vermeer's Edwin Blom says building a floating house is actually a relatively easy construction process. As you might expect, the secret lies in the foundations, which are made up of multiple layers of light plastic foam supporting the concrete, allowing it to float.

Re:landfill (2)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306266)

Labor day in the US has nothing to do with the War of Independence. It is the US version of International Workers Day (May Day). It's a Union/socialist holiday. Interestingly, May Day actually commemorates a US event: the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago. For political reasons, in the US, they didn't want to commemorate the massacre, so opted for a more generic Labor day in September promoted by the Central Labor Union.

Re:landfill (4, Informative)

h5inz (1284916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306472)

What junk? Typical landfill junk decomposition produces dioxins. There is a reason why you don't want your house on a graveyard or a landfill. Also what about the drinking water? I bet the surrounding sea ecosystem wouldn't be overly happy about it either.

Hmmm.. yeah... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305832)

Such housing technology could also allow small island-states in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

What's next? "Floating rainwater basins", "floating desalination plants" or "regular shipment of bottled water"? "Floating coconut farms" maybe?

Re:Hmmm.. yeah... (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306000)

Such housing technology could also allow small island-states in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

What's next? "Floating rainwater basins", "floating desalination plants" or "regular shipment of bottled water"?
"Floating coconut farms" maybe?

These guys are just out there. You're going to float a house on Styrofoam in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Maybe they've been fooled by the name (Pacific - Peaceful) but one little baby typhoon is going to put your Styrofoam and assorted crap in the middle of the Pacific garbage patch [wikipedia.org] . If you want to create floating cities, then go ahead and do so. The tech is there, it's just expensive.

This might work in a low lying area that gets flooded every couple of years (although the stilt idea previously mentioned seems easier) but it's not going to float well. Somebody needs to torpedo this concept before anyone gets wet.

Re:Hmmm.. yeah... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306066)

he tech is there, it's just expensive.

That's what I wanted to emphasize. Somehow, I don't think the pacific islanders have the money to build an artificial archipelago [wikipedia.org] for themselves (I can bet the cost of it will be much less than the maintenance of a "floating village" for 5-10 years).

Re:Hmmm.. yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306178)

Submarines are floating islands. Their primary expense is the ability to dive deeper than ~100 ft. Think more creatively.

Re:Hmmm.. yeah... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306242)

Submarines are floating islands. Their primary expense is the ability to dive deeper than ~100 ft. Think more creatively.

Do you know many Pacific island nations maintaining even a single submarine? Or even some civilian ships the size of a battleships? Please do share.

Here's an example of one that doesn't: Tuvalu [wikipedia.org] - and seems they need a solution [wikipedia.org] to a problem they didn't create.
Back to you AC: feel free to think as creative as you like if you can offer them a solution that they can afford.

Ignoring the bigger problem (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305840)

If the land belonging to these nations goes underwater for any length of time... who cares if their houses are intact? With no land, they've likely lost any ability to sustain themselves individually or as a culture.

Or are these floating houses edible and self-repairing?

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305932)

If the land belonging to these nations goes underwater for any length of time... who cares if their houses are intact? With no land, they've likely lost any ability to sustain themselves individually or as a culture.

Or are these floating houses edible and self-repairing?

Potable would be the first problem.

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306030)

No reason not to build on ferro-cement pontoons; well-made they're durable (a century or three) and no reason one couldn't have enough room and flotation for all kinds plants and critters. (If you've got submerged metal fittings, you'd need zincs; you'd also need anti-fouling coating and/or a cleaning routine.) It'd put a crimp on burden but they could be built as boat hulls; worse gets to worst, one could unhook from neighbors and utilities, up mast, and sail away.

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37307118)

There is good reason not to use cement and steel. In winter houseboats can be _cold_, obviously because they're partially submerged in the water. Polystyrene is besides very light also a good insulator.

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306398)

The houses may help if the sea rise is less severe. For example, instead of getting flooding once in 5 years, they now get it several times a year, but usually the island is above water. Such flooding will come with cyclones, so the floating houses will need to be well anchored. It is also not clear whether agriculture and fresh water supplies can be maintained in such circumstances.

The simple fact that corral atolls are uniformly just above sea level despite sea level changes due to ice ages etc. shows that they react to and track sea level changes. They will build themselves up in response to rising sea levels, so if the sea rises for a while and then stops, the islands can catch up. I have no idea whether this will occur on a time scale useful to islanders however.

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306452)

2 words. Sea Cucumbers.

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306764)

You may as well as point out that the vast majority of the world's population are ignoring the bigger problem of cancer by not throwing themselves into oncology, or that there's no point looking for NEOs because if the big ones hits we're all goners anyway. What life-changing problem did you solve this morning?

If the land belonging to these nations goes underwater for any length of time... who cares if their houses are intact?

What if the land doesn't go underwater for a great length of time? What if it's gone in a few days? Then people will want their homes.

Eejit.

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306776)

I have dibs on a floating roads patent.

Re:Ignoring the bigger problem (1)

blarkon (1712194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306858)

Reefs. How do they work?

Aren't they called houseboats? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305846)

Pretty sure people have been living on boats for a long time now. It combines all of the charm of living in a trailer with the joy of not having stable ground under your feet. It's not terrible, but the idea of a region changing en-mass to living in houseboats is absurd. What use is having a floating house if the roads are always flooded out and the utilities don't work?

There are much better solutions to the problem if you live in a flood prone area.

Re:Aren't they called houseboats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306048)

I recall people in Vietnam had something like this a long time ago.

Re:Aren't they called houseboats? (3, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306470)

Not exactly. They build their homes on stilts, so they remain above water during the seasonal flooding.

Re:Aren't they called houseboats? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306810)

Conversely having a house which could temporarily float when flood waters are abnormally high might save a lot in damages for places built on floodplains, not to mention lives.

Just call me ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305850)

.... Noah.

Damn! Not enough room for the elephants or the donkeys. I guess you guys will have to fight it out as the water rises.

Is it just me, or does this look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305884)

Atlantis per Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias [wikipedia.org]
Shamelessly ripped off of elsewhere, which ripped it off:
The lost city of Atlantis has two chief characteristics, firstly that it was located in the centre of a perfectly level, rectangular shaped plain in a continent opposite the Strait of Gibraltar and secondly and probably most importantly, that it had the distinctive shape of a circular central island surrounded by concentric rings of land and sea "enclosing each other like cartwheels"

And doesn't Floating city sound terribly prone to be destroyed by hurricane?

Re:Is it just me, or does this look like (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305940)

And doesn't Floating city sound terribly prone to be destroyed by hurricane?

If it truly floats, redesigned rather.

Misread.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37305928)

I read "Floating Houses Designed For Low-FLying Countries" and immediatly thought of buildings hovering in the air above. Damn, 'cos that'd be cool.

Which countries exactly are at risk of submersion? (0)

BenJCarter (902199) | more than 2 years ago | (#37305948)

We've been looking at the weather for thousands of years. Historic records of permanently submerged civilizations seem to be nebulous at best (Noah in Atlantis maybe?)

The next hundred years is a ways off. At least several more emerging "the sky is falling" hysterical periods will occur as we gain a better understanding of the ecosystem that is our home. We've already moved from the "Global Warming" to the "Climate Change" hysterical model in just the last decade.

Waterworld (1)

mprindle (198799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306020)

This really sounds like an "island" from the movie Waterworld...

Waterworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306052)

Why do I get this really bad image of the movie "Waterworld" in my head when reading the summary and comments thus far....

US gov't insurance (4, Insightful)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306106)

A lot of problems would go away if the US would simply get rid of its government flood insurance program. If you want to build a house somewhere its likely to get flooded, and its too risky for a private insurer to cover, and the bank won't loan without insurance... it won't get built. .

Re:US gov't insurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306360)

Is this insurance you mention available to non-US people living on non-US land? That's who the target audience is. Should have held your anti-US rant for another article.

Re:US gov't insurance (1)

InspectorGadget (149784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37307330)

That doesn't seem to stop people in the UK building in flood plains. I think you'll find people will keep on building in risky areas, accept the financial hit in case of a flood, and keep an eye on extreme weather warnings.
After all, properties built in such areas will be cheaper as a result.
But then bricks & mortar houses don't tend to float away in floods.

Re:US gov't insurance (1)

MonsterMasher (518641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37307358)

And what happens to the many, many, many who can only afford land in 'risk' in a flood plan?

Oh, I agree with the general sentiment, but until we get serious about our homeless issues. Of course we do have millions of homes foreclosed on - perhaps the owners might be able to live in them, to at least keep the bears from moving in and destroying the house.

We need to use that pesky 'science' thing to redefine flood plains as our climate changes.

High priced areas (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306188)

A couple years ago I thought it would be a great idea to create a floating city in an expensive area like off San Deigo or San Fransisco where space and price are premium.

If you could make a floating city you could earn 2 - 3 million a house. That is a lot of cash that would yield a great ROI and give price relief to those who live in these metropolitan areas. Just a thought I had.

All you would need is the same rubber foam used to float various structures near the shore. Do it on a massive scale and you make gold.

I'm ripped and baked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306190)

I am so fucked up right now. I'm ripped to the tits on drink and drugs :)

Nothing new (3, Informative)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306202)

When I was growing up, during visits to my grandmothers we would visit the Ouachita river to fish. Yes it's a word. It's from some Amerind culture.
There were lots of structures that were built on 55 gallon barrels and tied to trees with big ropes for the annual floods. They even had a union in the gas pipe so that the gas could be turned off and the house allowed to float up off the foundation.
When the flood was over the neighbors would get together and help put everyone's house back where they belonged.
Floating houses another recycled idea. Hopefully someone hasn't tried to patent it. There is plenty of prior art.

Re:Nothing new (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306504)

Drive some i-beams or 6x6's into the ground, and attach a slide to the house so it can move up and down the i-beam or 6x6 but not laterally (just like most docks at marinas). Then the house or object would float up and down but no other direction. Then there's no need to put it back in place

Re:Nothing new (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306556)

Just build on piles or stilts. Pile driving equipment is simple enough, and the raised housing makes for useful shade underneath.

They have been common in Asia for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years.

And you will grow food exactly HOW? (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306238)

what a dumb idea - you can't float a country. Those people are fucked. In 200 years we will all be living at the Arctic circle....

Re:And you will grow food exactly HOW? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306384)

Maybe in the future there will be advanced scientists who can obtain food from the ocean. They will call those amazing people 'fishermen'.

Re:And you will grow food exactly HOW? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37307032)

"Soylent Houseboat People" . . . the main foodstuff of houseboat people will be . . . other houseboat people. It's a shame that there won't be any Fava beans, though.

Fishermen? "I will teach you to be a fisher of . . . men." Wow, that old quip seems to make more sense now.

Re:And you will grow food exactly HOW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37307286)

I hate to be the one to tell you but in 200 years, we'll all be long dead. In the meantime, we'll be wanting somewhere to live. This won't help much in the event of catastrophic sea level rise but for areas where a rising water table leads to increased seasonal flooding in previously habitable areas, this sort of thing could slow the exodus of populations that many fear climate change will bring.

Nothing to see here (1)

Foske (144771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306342)

Uhm guys, floating houses already exist for decades here in the Netherlands, and then I don't even count our famous "woonboot" (houseboat), which would extend that period to hundreds of years. Looks like the world is reinventing the wheel, except that a wheel of course quite useless in water...

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

kahless62003 (1372913) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306816)

Looks like the world is reinventing the wheel, except that a wheel of course quite useless in water...

They are?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddle_boat [wikipedia.org]

Did anyone else read that as... (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306390)

Floating houses for low-flying countries.

It made me think of the airborne aircraft carrier in Sky Captain and the World of tomorrow... only entire countries instead of just an aircraft carrier. That would be pretty awesome.

Re:Did anyone else read that as... (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306454)

It made me think of the airborne aircraft carrier in Sky Captain and the World of tomorrow...

And that made me think of Angelina Jolie.

Re:Did anyone else read that as... (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306534)

She really was the worst part of that movie. Maybe someday they'll release a directors cut that cuts out every scene with her in it.

Re:Did anyone else read that as... (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37307432)

And that made me think of Angelina Jolie.

Put your hands where I can see 'em!

Top heavy (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306444)

+ nasty storm = ?

Prior Art (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306450)

It's called a boat.

Slight problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306494)

Most of the "at risk" countries have populations that have yearly incomes in the hundreds or thousands not tens of thousands a year. High tech solutions aren't a solution. Unless they can build the structures with the available resources it's no option. I'd be more impressed if the solution involved Bamboo instead of a petro chemical like styrofoam. Looks good on paper but it's not a practical or realistic solution.

Really? (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306550)

Floating houses were already designed 1000's of years ago, they're called boats.

But on topic, 'floating' houses are nothing new, we've had them for decades already here in the Netherlands

Homes that float can also move. (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306604)

With apologies to Steven Wright: "One day, when I came home from work, I accidentally put my car key in the door of my apartment building... I turned it... and the whole building started up.... So I drove it around.... A policeman stopped me for going too fast... He said, 'Where do you live?'... I said, 'Right here'... Then I drove my building onto the middle of a highway, and I ran outside, and told all of the cars to get the hell out of my driveway."

Re:Homes that float can also move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306874)

At least they weren't on the lawn.

Japan (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37306728)

Well. We all remember what "a flood" will look like. For low-laying countries this could very well look the same, so even IF the house will float you'll have to look for it between tons of rubble, driftwood and cars...

All houses are floating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37306978)

on the surface of very dense and usually very viscous fluid. It becomes apparent in case of large natural disasters. However, most houses aren't built with that in mind and therefore when soil shows its fluidity, houses tend to capsize, get torn apart, float away, or even sink.

You need land to be a state... (1)

cardpuncher (713057) | more than 2 years ago | (#37307242)

... doesn't have to be much, but it has to be actual land. And if you want to claim some sort of exclusive economic rights over the surrounding seas the land has to be habitable (look up Okinotori Islands). A perpetually floating house is a ship even if it used to be moored on solid ground. And it can't be registered in a country that doesn't exist because it's underwater.

But I don't suppose your lack of statehood would be your most pressing concern.

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