Floating or amphibious buildings

Amphibious homes Maasbommel The Netherlands © Dura Vermeer

When buildings have a floating or amphibian construction, no water damage occurs when the water level in the vicinity rises.  A point of attention in this type of construction is the connection to infrastructure and utilities: these must be flexible or self-sufficient.

Rising water levels means that the building – or rather, the foundation – floats. Conditions necessary for this type of construction are the presence of surface water and a lightweight building style, for example with a (wooden) skeleton construction  method.

Floating or amphibian homes must be well anchored into position. This can be done in a number of ways. In Maasbommel, homes have been built to be able to move up and down along the mooring posts. In other situations homes can be fastened to the quay or anchored to the ground with steel cables. Attention must be given to ensuring that no large objects can become lodged under the homes, causing them to tilt when water levels subside. Measures must also be taken against ice build-up.

Although the homes themselves vary in vertical position, they must nonetheless be connected to the utility infrastructures, which are fixed. The connections must therefore be flexible (and insulated).

Floating pavilion Rotterdam, The Netherlands © R. de Wit