Climate change increases the risk of floods and extreme weather events, so researchers have found a way to retrofit homes to float above the floodwater. Founder of the Buoyant Foundation Project, Elizabeth England said the strategy is to reduce the risks posed by floods. The project was started in 2006 and they have been conducting research to make low-income housing “amphibious”.
It was started after whole neighbourhoods in New Orleans were inundated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Homes are retrofitted by installing buoyant floats underneath the main floor of the house. Vertical guide posts are then added next to the house and attached to it to keep the house from moving side to side. When a flood happens the house will rise with the water and then eventually will slowly fall back onto its foundation.
English, who is also a professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo in southern Ontario said “the technology itself is actually very simple,” She also explains that the retrofitting is inexpensive as for single-storey, lightweight homes with no basement that is elevated she “think(s) we can do it for $20 a square foot, plus or minus.”
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