NOLA Gets Platinum Style Float Home

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In the past few weeks, the Brad Pitt Make It Right foundation in New Orleans has been blanketed with all sorts of good press.  The USGBC declared Make It Right to be the "largest and greenest single family community in the world."  One of the newest homes in this green community is the FLOAT House by Morphosis Architects, which was designed and built under the direction of Thom Mayne and with the help of numerous UCLA graduate students.  The FLOAT House is a prototype for prefab affordable housing that is adaptable to flood zones worldwide. 

Float-House-cutaway

As the name implies, the FLOAT House will in fact float up to twelve feet high.  This is done through a raised four-foot base, or chassis, which is prefabricated with polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber reinforced concrete.  As the water level rises, the chassis will float up on vertical guide posts.  And the homeowner's investment in property will be protected. 

Morphosis indicates that the FLOAT House is on track for LEED Platinum.  It's also a net-zero energy structure.  All the systems will sustain the home's power, air, and water needs — it'll be solar and geothermal powered, while the roof will funnel and reclaim rainwater.

The FLOAT House is the first house of its kind to be permitted in the United States.  With 945 square feet of space, the interior has a living room, kitchen, and two bedrooms and bathrooms.  It's a shotgun style home that was built with the help of general contractor Clarke Construction Group, who donated construction services to the endeavor. 

Speaking of the unique home, Thom Mayne said in a press release: "The reality of rising water levels presents a serious threat for coastal cities around the world. These environmental implications require radical solutions. In response, we developed a highly performative, 1,000-square-foot house that is technically innovative in terms of its safety factor — its ability to float — as well as its sustainability, mass production and method of assembly."

[+] UCLA students create a floating house by UCLA Newsroom.

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Float-house-morphosis

Rendering credit: Morphopedia by Morphosis Architects; photo credits: Patrick Dunn-Baker.


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  • Davis

    Great concept. Terrible execution.

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant design. And I actually think it is attractive, too…

  • http://mportlandrealestate.com/ Portland Real Estate

    Absolutely incredible. Someone is actually thinking ahead for the next flood, as they very well should be. Houses should be built with consideration to the local environment, not just a victorian cookie cutter that can be found in every suburb in the US.

    -Tyler

  • http://www.studiosketchworks.com rondav

    love the firm, and i appreciate the experimentation [RE: ability to float,] but think the house [final outcome] is a bit too overwrought and superficial.

    plus… has anyone watched floodwaters surge? it drags anything not connected- and crushes everything in its path. not sure this floating home would survive oncoming mass in rushing floodwaters.

    thoughts?

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