Thursday, June 13, 2013

Building for flood areas

The flood is a big deal nowdays in middle Europe, and i was thinking of it a lot. The main problem of it, that we are using an outdated water-management system, that was built about 200 years ago(at least in Hungary) in a megalomaniac era by people, who knew next to nothing about ecology and sustainability. So I was thinking about another kind of water-management which has the exact opposite approach than the current one(Let's try to keep the rivers in the least possible amount of area, and build artificial river beds with dams all along the river). It turned out the system I was thinking about did exist up until the Turkish occupation of the Great Plains in Hungary. It involved huge areas of flood basins, and a really sophisticated system of water reservoirs, small basins, irrigation canals, dams, dikes and smaller-bigger flood gates, which I'm sure helped the middle-age Hungary to be one of the richest countries of the time, and the larder of whole Europe. So I think we should build a modern version of that system. As a matter of fact I already saw some German articles about this. As I can see, they are planning an inhibition of building in the flood basin. I beg to differ: i think this is a really good opportunity for architectures that are not of the conventional groups. Here's a sketch of my idea about how we should build houses(even neighborhoods) in the flood areas:
Sorry for the bad quality, it's just a quick pen-sketch after all...

1.) the building itself has to be lightweight, most probably some kind of prefab with sandwich walls, or shipping container structures, or even full tiny houses sitting on the platform.

2.) tall anchor-poles embedded deep in the ground keep the platform and the building with it in place in case of the flood being higher than the supporting poles. The building can move up and down along these poles, but they they prevent it from drifting away.

3.) segmented pontoon system, that would be filled with some kind of expanded concrete or plastic foam. this makes them strong and sturdy, so they can support, and make the whole platform with the building float. with this segmented pontoons and the platform we could build whole neighborhoods with pathways and bike lanes(I don't think it's a good idea to put cars on a platform system that moves with the water from time to time...)

4.) supporting poles hold the weight of the whole structure. they would be about 3m high(depends on the area and the regular moves of the river), to keep the building away from the water in most of the year. the platform and the building is not attached to these poles, so if a huge flood is coming, the structure can rise with the water. But after the water's gone, the platform can sit right back on these poles.

Note: the whole system can be prefabricated, and assembled on the spot really fast most probably in the dry summer, and if the house is a container-house, it could be erected in a matter of days...

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