Floating home. An autonomous alternative

Many cities are facing problems to build new appartments for their inhabitants. Few free areas and the great cost of facilities required are big drawbacks to do it. Some cities such as Amsterdam or London make use of canals to live in. However, the floating home is still a concept with too many problems. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute have designed a house that could be a great option for those inhabited places. Let’s see how.

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Floating home. Living surrounded by water

As we have mentioned before, many problems arise when thinking about living in a floating home. The connection to services such as water, electricity or sewage is complex. Then, the solution could be a self-suficient building. And that’s why we have brought this amazing solution to a building services blog. As clean energy production is one of the goals nowadays, why can’t we get some tips from this inventive projects?

The project will be placed in the Lake Geierswalde, in Germany. The house will be standing on a 13 x 13 meters steel pontoon. It has 109 squared meters of living space divided in two floors. Besides, you can enjoy a 15 squared meters terrace to watch the whole lake.

Building services for an amazing floating home

But let’s talk about what we are in. How are building services integrated in this peculiar building? Well, let’s start with solar cells. They are integrated in the building envelope and Li-Po batteries store the energy. Those batteries are integrated into the textile concrete walls or into the stair elements to save space.

Let’s go through heating and cooling now. It’s a very complex system that makes use of salt-hydrates and a zeolith thermal storage system. According to Dr. Burkhard Fassauer, “when the fireplace is on, the salt hydrates liquefy and begin to absorb heat“. When it is absolutely liquified, it can store energy hardly for ever. To release heat, a radio-based technology is used to produce crystallization. However, this system isn’t enough to warm up the house in winter. That’s why we need the zeolith storage. Regarding cooling, an evaporative system will be the key point to cool down the envelope of the building.

Finally, we should talk about water. It’s the least advanced part of the building at the moment. To obtain a good system to provide clean water, researchers are relying on a combination of ceramic membranes and various electrochemical and photocatalytic processes.

We hope that the project will be fully finished by 2017. Furthermore, we do believe that some technologies used there can be also helpful for common buildings.

Source: Gizmag, Fraunhofer

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