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in Flood Resilient House’s Flood Defence

The Ultimate

The UK’s first amphibious house has been granted full planning permission and is set to be built on the banks of the River Thames later this year. Designed by Baca Architects - specialists in waterfront architecture and flood-resilient developments – it will be located on an island in the picturesque stretch of the Thames that passes through Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, a site designated as a Flood Zone and a Conservation Area.

An amphibious house is a building that rests on the ground on fixed foundations but, whenever a flood occurs, the entire building rises up in its dock and floats there, buoyed by the floodwater. It is an imaginative architectural solution to overcome the threat of flooding and the Local Authority supported the proposal because it was a replacement dwelling so flood risk was in fact reduced, on this site.

The modern 225 sq m house - set just 10m from the river’s edge - will be a contemporary family home designed to respond to the uncertainties of future climate change. Using the latest technology, the design is a major breakthrough for British architects and engineers who have been searching for many years for a solution to mitigate the risk - and damage - of water ingress

to homes in flood-prone areas. A glazed south facing façade will allow panoramic views towards the river.

The house is designed as a free- floating pontoon secured by four dolphins (permanent vertical posts) arranged close up to the sidewalls. The assembly is sited within a wet dock comprising retaining walls and base slab and so when flooding occurs the dock fills with water and the house rises accordingly.

Commenting on the proposals, Baca Director Richard Coutts said: ‘A resilient city must be adaptable and to be adaptable the built environment must innovate. Our research work with climate change through the LifE (Long-term Initiatives For Flood-Risk Environments) Project for Defra and more recently the CAN (Climate Adaptive Neighbourhooods) for the Technology Strategy Board has allowed us to transfer and share knowledge with many academics, engineers and professionals in the field to develop best practice approaches and technologies. Amphibious design is one of a host of solutions that can enable residents to live safely and to adapt to the challenges of climate change and we are very much looking forward to constructing the first example of this approach in the UK.’

For more information please visit: Baca Architects

Tel: +44 (0)207 939 0985 Email: 13

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