Best of both worlds
So, how do you build a floating house? Edwin Blom describes it as a relatively easy construction process: The secret lies in the foundations of the building, made of multiple layers of light plastic foam supporting the concrete, allowing it to float the same way a boat would do. But the technology used until now has its limitations. There is a maximum size and weight beyond which a structure loses its buoyancy and simply sinks. The engineers from Dura Vermeer had to look for a technological partner able to solve this problem, the key being in the use and development of the right type of material.
However, it proved to be impossible to find in the Netherlands a collaborator with the level of skill and innovation required. They finally found the perfect match thanks to the network of European R&D experts offered by EUREKA: Acciona Infrastructures, a Spanish company and a forerunner in the sector of nanotechnology-based composite materials. Whereas most of the research done in the sector has been oriented towards lucrative high-tech sectors such as aerospace or military, Acciona Infrastructures has been from the very start looking to adapt their knowledge to the needs of the construction business. 'We would not have even thought of this market opportunity if we did not take part in this EUREKA project' says Bladimir Osorio, project leader at Acciona Infrastructures.
Easy as building blocks
Together with a Spanish engineering consultancy, Solintel, the partners worked on a new way to build floating structures: simpler, more solid and using lighter materials. This new building method uses EPS, or expanded polystyrene, 'the same kind as is used for packaging and which people are familiar with: little white
|Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski|