Extreme weather events — the result of our planet overheating due to our reliance on dirty energy sources like coal, gas, and oil — are unfortunately becoming the norm. While it would be ideal to prevent these events from happening so frequently, in the meantime, people are adapting their homes to forestall the worst possible outcomes.
As the need increases, climate-resilient architecture is becoming more popular, and it is inspiring to see the human ingenuity involved in its creation. One real estate developer in Japan, for instance, has come up with a house that floats, unharmed, during floods.
Ichijo Co. began developing the idea after destructive flooding hit Japan in 2015. The company’s floating house is attached to the ground via four poles. When floodwaters rise to one meter (about 3.3 feet), the entire structure is able to rise off the ground and float on the water’s surface.
When the floodwaters recede, the house returns to where it was, anchored in its exact place by the four poles.
According to the company’s website, “In the event of a massive flood, once the house becomes buoyant, it resembles a stable moored ship. When flood waters recede, the house lowers itself almost exactly where it was before the flooding event.”
All potential openings where water can enter are tightly sealed and a specially manufactured valve prevents sewage backflow in the event of a flood. The houses are even designed so that the air conditioning, electricity, solar power inverters, and power storage batteries are installed higher and further from possible flood impact.
Ichijo Co. also makes flood-resistant homes with all of the above features that don’t float, as the floating version is, according to the website, “an available option, especially for areas where flood levels and pursuant damage is expected to be massive.”
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