Young architects come up with ‘floating house’ to beat flood threat
Kanhangad: Two architects from Kanhangad of Kasaragod have come up with a new concept to protect the houses during flood. Architects Sachin Raj and Anand met Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan and showed him the new concept through a video presentation.
The new technology requires no soil or rock for construction and uses only limited quantity of wood and cement. House can be built in two stories and in an area of 2000 sq. ft. The minister was impressed with the concept and promised them that they will discuss it with other ministers and try to implement the concept after studying its practicality.
Anand and Sachin opined that the flood that immersed the villages and cities inspired them to find the concept. They clarified that a house built by an artist Richard Sova in an island in Mexico and another house built in the banks of River Thames led them to the new invention. Another architect Della Hans also has supported them in the endeavour.
Empty plastic bottles are the primary requisite for the construction of floating house. Four iron pillars will be fixed on to the ground. And a firm platform will be made by joining iron rods together between the pillars which makes the base of the house. Then empty plastic bottles will be piled up in six rows on the base.
Walls of the house are made of 3-inch thick cement fibre panels. Windows and doors can be made in wood or steel. Septic tank and rainwater reservoir are built within the platform. A veranda will be made from outside the first floor also. Different types of roofing tiles will be used to make the roof.
The plastic bottles start working only during the flood. The house that is placed firm in the ground will begin to float in the water when flood hits. It functions based on the Archimedes’ principle that the upward floating force that is applied on a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces.
The iron pillars are marked with warning signs at each point of height. The disaster management authority of the government can locate the house by calculating the latitude and longitude. A plastic bottle that contains one litre of water can bear upto a weight of one kg.
A floating houses requires upto 50,000 plastic bottles and it weighs a total of only half a ton. About 480 tons of plastic waste are produced in Kerala every day, as per the government statistics. So, this will help reduce waste menace as well.
The base platform, septic tank, well and electric wires are the things which connects a house with the ground. In the new concept of floating house, septic tank will be made in a portable way on the floating platform. When the platform floats, the septic tank also rises along with it.
Electric wires need to be kept in utmost length so that it can be elongated as the house rises with the flood water. The motor pump in the well need to be disconnected when the flood water begins to rise. An estimated cost of building the floating house is Rs 15-20 lakhs, said Anand and Sachin.