The mission of the Buoyant Foundation Project (BFP), when originally founded in 2006, was to support the recovery of New Orleans’ unique and endangered traditional cultures by providing a strategy for the safe and sustainable restoration of historic housing. Retrofitting the city’s traditional elevated wooden shotgun houses with buoyant (amphibious) foundations could prevent not only devastating flood damage, but also the destruction of neighborhood character that results from permanent static elevation high above the ground. Buoyant foundations can provide increased safety and resilience in cases of extreme flooding, as well as support the recovery of both physical and social structures. The mission of the BFP and its amphibious retrofit strategy have, since 2006, broadened to apply not only to post-Katrina New Orleans but also to numerous other flood-sensitive locations around the world. The Buoyant Foundation Project is a registered non-profit organization in the State of Louisiana. The team consists of students, professors, and alumni of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture.
Doesn’t seem practical retrofitting homes. If they were built with floating in mind it’d be better and possible. Retrofitting these things are going to be expensive and the homes probably won’t survive floating around bouncing into things and its initial lifting from the ground it’s built on won’t be good for the structural integrity of the home either.
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I rather need to agree with Alexander. The problem isn’t the additions to the house to make it float (mobile homes would be trivial). One problem is the torque twist as a wave hits the end of one pontoon (or the corner of a multihull set of floaties) and that corner can lift and settle independantly. The other problem is the acceleration forces of generally moving around with the water and impacts from other floating things, or impact with the ground when landing on the debris piled randomly. I am talking damage to the house like a slow motion earthquake which lasts as long as the flood does.
Can it be done? yes. especially with some active load position compensation. And a guaranteed clean landing zone.
“Honey, the house survived the flood on the barge really well! And it settled down onto the car on one side, and as the water drained off the land the other side of the barge settled to the ground real easy-like. The car was hardly not crushed completely at all! And then the house slided right off that tilted barge pretty as you please and into the river and floated away!”
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