We’re used to Brad Pitt’s green building foundation, Make It Right NOLA, revealing some new takes on sustainable design, but a house that floats when it floods? Now that’s something that truly raises the bar for sustainable and functional design in the face of adverse elements!
The home, which is the brainchild of Morphosis Architects and its founder, Thom Mayne, will officially be unveiled tomorrow in a ready to move-in condition for one family displaced by Hurricane Katrina. NPR had a sneak peek interview with Mayne this afternoon and shed a bit more light on how it all works. From the article,
The designers gave the building a chassis, made it out of polystyrene foam and covered it with glass-reinforced concrete. “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.
According to the interview, when flooding occurs, the home easily breaks away from things like electric lines, plumbing, etc. so that it can travel up the 12-foot guideposts. It also contains enough batteries to keep everything running inside for up to three days. And, obviously, as this is a Make It Right home, is built using green materials and sustainable design. Check out some concept art of the home below — or visit Make It Right NOLA for more details on the greening effort in the Lower 9th Ward.