What is Amphibious Architecture?
Amphibious architecture refers to an alternative flood mitigation strategy that allows an otherwise-ordinary structure to float on the surface of rising floodwater rather than succumb to inundation. An amphibious foundation retains a home’s connection to the ground by resting firmly on the earth under usual circumstances, yet it allows a house to float as high as necessary when flooding occurs. Amphibious foundations make homes resilient; resilient homes are the bases for resilient communities.
What is a Buoyant Foundation?
A buoyant foundation is a particular type of amphibious foundation that is specifically designed to be retrofitted to an existing house that is already slightly elevated off the ground and supported on short piers. The system consists of three basic elements: buoyancy blocks underneath the house that provide flotation, vertical guideposts that prevent the house from going anywhere except straight up and down, and a structural sub-frame that ties everything together. Utility lines have either self-sealing ‘breakaway’ connections or long, coiled ‘umbilical’ lines. Any house that can be elevated can be made amphibious.
The Buoyant Foundation Project is involved in sponsoring and organizing ICAADE 2017, to be held on June 25-28, 2017, at the University of Waterloo.
ICAADE 2015 was held in Bangkok, Thailand from August 26-29, 2015. Visit our archive to see more information about ICAADE 2015