Britain to get first floating amphibious home
This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
It sounds more science fiction than bricks and mortar, but Britain is to get its first ever floating home after planning permission was granted to a house that rises with flood waters.
The amphibious home – to be set just 10m from the water’s edge – is to be built on an island on the banks of the Thames close to Marlow in Buckinghamshire. It’s considered a major breakthrough for architects and designers who have been trying to find ways to mitigate the risk and damage of water in flood-prone areas.
The modern 225 sq ft home, designed by London-based Baca Architects, will rest on fixed foundations but whenever a flood occurs the entire building will rise up in its dock and float, buoyed by the floodwater.
While the house will be a modern, highly-insulated, low energy building, including large high-performance windows, the architects have ensured that it is also sympathetic to the Conservation Area in which it is set. It will have pitched roofs and a chimney to complement the irregular roofline of neighbouring homes and an overall footprint that is no larger than the existing property.
The garden will act as a natural early warning flood system, with terraces set at different levels designed to flood incrementally and alert the occupants well before the water reaches a threatening level.
“The planning process obviously took a bit more time than some applications, involving our team in extensive consultations and cooperation with the local authority,” said Richard Coutts, director of Baca Architects. “From the outset of the design process we sought expert advice from the Environment Agency to determine the most appropriate construction model to mitigate flood risk on the site; and provide a safe dwelling, sympathetic to its setting, and fit for the challenges of the 21st Century.”
As you’d expect, building an amphibious home isn’t for the financially wet – the architects say it currently costs around 20% to 25% more than a similar sized house.