Coastal Engineering - Amphibious Housing

Introduction & Project Motivation

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Credits: Dura Vermeer
As global temperatures rise and climate change results, it is predicted that sea-levels will begin to rise due to the disintegration of large ice sheets [1]. Some researchers have predicted rises of up to 110 cm (43 in) by 2100 [10].  Residents living in cities located in coastal regions will experience flooding, large amounts of property damage and potentially be forced to relocate. Since over 40% of the global population lives within 125 miles of a coastline, and this figure is expected to double within the next fifteen years, [2] a viable solution is becoming a necessity.  

Dura Vermeer, a Dutch construction firm, developed the idea of floating and amphibious houses as an adaptive measure due to the rising sea levels in the Netherlands. Approximately 2/3 of the population of the Netherlands is located below sea-level, making the country extremely susceptible to flooding 
[3]. A minister from the Netherlands,  says "You cannot fight water, you have to learn how to live with it" [8]The The Dutch have built floating and amphibious homes along a row in Maasbommel, Netherlands with prices starting around $310,000 for a 1,300 sq. ft. home[4].  It is important to note that this is well below the average size for an American home, which was about 2,460 sq. ft. as of 2008 [9], making them an expensive option.  
While expensive, these homes are one of the first adaptive measures that have been taken towards adjusting to the changing climate. This technology would beneficial in many different parts of the world that may be subject to rising water levels or excessive flooding in the near future.  However, due to current costs, these homes will likely only be feasible in first world and potentially some developing countries.   Some of the notable areas around the world that are often hit by flooding include India, Bangladesh and Nepal as well as delta regions throughout the globe.

Created by:  Ian Hanson and Stephanie Dar