Floating Houses for Flood-Prone Areas

As the city of New Orleans rebuilds its flooded and destroyed neighborhoods, a new design from architect Thom Mayne seeks to counteract the flood-prone area by simply floating.
October 10, 2009, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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The design includes a foam-based foundation surrounded by concrete that becomes bouyant in water.

"'What does that do? It produces a raft; it floats,' Mayne says. 'And it's thought about as a seat belt. I mean, hopefully it never gets used. But when it gets used, it's important.'

The house is anchored to the ground by two vertical guideposts. At times of flooding, the house moves up the guideposts - up to 12 feet - to prevent it from drifting."

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Published on Monday, October 5, 2009 in NPR
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