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Floating Housing

Project Details

Year: 2018

Location: Newport, RI

Type: New Construction

Size: 1,000 sf

Status: Complete

Delivery Method: Integrated Project Delivery

Design Collaborator: Pacific-Visions Studio LLC

Design Collaborator: Fagan Design Build Studio

Design Collaborator : Power Docks

Renders: Pacific-Visions Studio LLC

Project Description

The floating housing study is a collaborative design effort  which worked to develop innovative sustainable housing alternatives for geographic locations sensitive to climate change. As a result of both increased population growth and economic globalization, urban centers are dramatically expanding. Today cities are growing at a rate that has never been seen before in human history. This has created a substantial need for new, affordable urban housing. All to often, marginalized populations occupy land that is the most likely to suffer the negative effects of climate change. This includes settlements in low elevation coastal areas that are at risk of sea level rise, or river bed deltas that are subject to extreme seasonal flooding.

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Building Section of Floating Housing Unit

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Interior Concept Render of Single Wide Floating Housing Unit - Kitchen

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“It is estimated that 23 percent of the world’s population lives within 60 miles of the coast and at less than 35 feet of elevation. Overall population densities in coastal regions are about three times higher than the global population density. Some 60 percent of the world’s 39 metropolitan areas with more than five million people are located within 60 miles of the coast, including 12 of the world’s 16 largest cities.” - International Housing Coalition Report 2011

Interior Concept Render of Single Wide Floating Housing Unit - Living Space

Exterior Concept Render of Single Wide Floating Housing Unit

"Whether your goal of living on the water is in preparation for sea level rise, luxury living, minimalism or a vacation getaway, these floating housing units are a key component of the future housing market in a rapidly changing climate."

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Exterior Concept Render of Single Wide Floating Housing Unit

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Exterior Concept Render of Double Wide Floating Housing Unit

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Regarding mechanical systems - these floating housing units have the ability to operate off the grid, or free from public utilities. Power will be generated through the use of roof-mounted solar panels. Solar power will provide for daily household appliances and the HVAC systems.


Heat and AC will be provided from high efficiency, wall mounted, split system electric units, such as those manufactured by Mitsubishi. Gray water will be collected through a system of roof drains, rain gardens and cisterns. Toilets for these units will be self composting electric units. The floating structures will operate as off-grid, self contained sustainable housing units.

Interior Concept Render of Double Wide Floating Housing Unit - Kitchen/Living/Dining

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