Last June, not long after a catastrophic thunderstorm swept through southern Ontario, bringing a month’s worth of rain in just a few hours, a group of seventy-five architects, engineers, and policymakers from sixteen countries gathered in the city of Waterloo to discuss how humanity will cope with its waterlogged future. The timing of the conference was a fitting meteorological coincidence; in a world increasingly transformed by climate change, heavy rains and major floods are becoming more common, at least in some areas. In the summer of 2017 alone, Hurricane Harvey dumped more than fifty inches of rain over Texas, a monster monsoon season damaged more than eight hundred thousand homes in India, and flash floods and mudslides claimed at least five hundred lives in Sierra Leone. In the past two decades, the world’s ten worst floods have done more than a hundred and sixty-five billion dollars’ worth of damage and driven more than a billion people from their homes.
January 22, 2018
Amphibious architecture is presented as an option for residents' homes
Amphibious architecture was the topic of discussion at a presentation made to Wharton County residents and representatives in charge of disaster recovery on Sunday. Representatives from the community, Wharton County Recovery Team, Mary Louise Dobson Foundation, Gulf Coast Medical Foundation, Just Do It Now, the city of Wharton and CGI met to hear about amphibious architecture and how it could save the city from flooding.
December 6, 2017
Floating a New Approach to Cope with Floods
Floods mean havoc for millions of people every year. With climate change bringing more extreme storms and rising seas, the danger of flooding is sure to increase in coming years, putting millions of lives and billions of dollars of property at risk.
June 23, 2017
Sink or Swim
An emerging technology poses an intriguing solution to rising tides: homes that float only when it floods.
A Local Solution to a Global Flooding Problem
The Grand River rushes past Elizabeth English’s office in an old silk factory in downtown Cambridge, only weeks away from spring thaw. But while some may just see a waterway, she sees a laboratory.
February 14, 2017
Amphibious Architecture in Hampton Roads?
Exploring floating foundation, and other emergent technology at sea level rise Adaptation Forum
Amphibious Housing Featured on Toronto Weather Network
A weather network segment on the benefits of amphibious architecture, and applications of buoyant foundations.
Homes Designed to Float on Water could be the way of the Future
Flooding is almost a yearly occurrence in parts of Canada. The northern Ontario communities of Fort Albany and Kashechewan have been dealing with seasonal floods for years. They disrupt daily life, and threaten the health of residents.
April 27, 2014
Waterloo Professor Designs Floating Houses that could Weather Floods
University of Waterloo professor Elizabeth English has designed an amphibious house that floats up with rising flood waters and then settles back down on its foundation when water recedes.
April 3, 2014
Floating Houses that Rise and Fall with Flood Waters
Amphibious houses that rise and fall with flood waters would help save lives and protect First Nations and other vulnerable communties devastaed by flooding every spring, says a University of Waterloo architecture professor
Amphibious-House Promoter is on a Crusade for New Homes and Retrofits that Go with the Flow
Featured in ENR magazine, Elizabeth English gives her insight into a solution to amphibious flood-resistant buildings and pushes for a reinterpretation of the statutes of the insurance program in the U.S.
August 3, 2014
New Orleans: No Easy Buoyancy
Five years after evacuation, still-displaced residents of New Orleans have a strong desire to return to their former communities. Pre-Katrina New Orleans was a vibrant community of hard-working residents, and had a dynamic street life of neighbourhood parades that bound communities, creating strong identities and a strong sense of place.
Could Floating Homes be on the Way?
What are the options for bayou residents whose houses have flooded three times in the last decade? Do you elevate? Move? Pray? Or do you build a house that can float?
November 8, 2009
Floating an Idea: Prof Goes with the Flow to Protect Homes from Floods
Elizabeth English loves her job as an architecture professor at the University of Waterloo, but her heart remains in Louisiana. That’s where her passion for preserving the culture and character of New Orleans has led her, to challenge the conventional wisdom about how to protect homes from flood damage.
Rising to the Occasion
A Louisiana State University engineering professor made the rounds of congressional staff and Bush administration officials this week to push a system she says could protect many homes from the kind of disastrous flooding that occurred in Hurricane Katrina.
New Orleans: Two Years Later
It’s difficult to nail down the last time this antique city was considered cutting edge. Was it the 1850s, when a coffeehouse owner created the Sazerac cocktail? Or perhaps the 1940s, when a teenager named J.M. Lapeyre invented the automatic shrimp peeler?
August 29, 2007
Two Years After the Storm, the Devastated City is a Boomtown of Fresh Ideas for Rebirth
New Buoyant Foundation System Hopes to Save Homes From Flooding
One of the biggest losses to the people along the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina was their homes. Now, LSU has unveiled its prototype of an invention to protect homes from floodwaters.
Louisiana Professor Proposes Idea for Making Houses Flood Proof
A Louisiana State University engineering professor is lobbying congressional staff and Bush administration officials to push a system she says could protect many homes from the kind of disastrous flooding that occurred in Hurricane Katrina.
April 28, 2007
Plan Would Make Homes in New Orleans Floatable
The next time a hurricane floods New Orleans, whole neighbourhoods might just bob up like corks as the water rises.
Letter from New Orleans, the Lost Year: Behind the Failure to Rebuild
Elizabeth English studies the effects of hurricanes on buildings, at the Hurricane Center of Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge. “You need to think about how architecture helps shape culture,” she said, when I met her at a back-yard dinner party in Baton Rouge. English, who is fifty-two and slight, has the intensity of someone whose career has met its most significant challenge.
August 21, 2006