Innovation That Matters

Modular home on stilts could make floodplains livable

Work & Lifestyle

Sustainable building company Larkfleet Group developed a home raised and lowered by mechanical jacks to save the structure from flood damage.

Based in the United Kingdom, The Larkfleet Group of Companies has applied for building permission for its experimental home on stilts. Built using a modular steel-frame, the home is designed to be disassembled, moved and reassembled if or where necessary. Rather than a foundation, the home sits on a steel ring beam. Eight mechanical jacks are used to raise the building one and a half meters off the ground.

The team behind the design envisions families raising the home to its full height when flood warnings are issued and then leaving for safer areas. In an emergency, the home could be fully raised within five minutes. Flexible hoses keep utilities connected during the raising and lowering processes. Once built, tests will be carried out for up to five years and if successful, could provide a new way of living with and near rivers and other waterways.

Finding new ways to live more harmoniously with the natural environment is leading to changes in approach, design and materials. A new type of earthquake insurance is providing swifter payments, and these eco-friendly modular homes are built to withstand extreme weather. How else would it be more beneficial to accommodate the surrounding environs, rather than try to control them?



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