Researchers at the Housing and Building Research Institute (HBRI) of Bangladesh have developed a house that can float on water.
The HBRI researchers call this an ‘amphibian house’. It is based on Netherlands’ amphibious technology.
The house has one bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom.
Visited the research institute, this correspondent saw two of these houses floating in a pond on the premises.
HBRI director Mohammad Abu Sadeque said the floating house has been made with the haor dwellers in mind. The people living in these marshlands inevitably suffer due to an onrush of water from hills, resulting in severe floods.
“Every year a considerable number of people die in the floods. They lose their hearth, home and valuables, especially in the regions of the country prone of flash floods. This house can save them and their belongings during the floods.”
Abu Sadeque said this is the first time such a floating house has been made in Bangladesh.
The house’s walls are made of ‘expanded polystyrene’ (EPS) covered with a special kind of mixture, ferrocement and sand, he added.
He explained that house was constructed on a pontoon also made of the EPS and covered with ferrocement. Every house has a door and more than one window made of wire mesh. The basement of the house is nearly 100 square feet.
Abu Sadeque pointed out that the house was made of the environment-friendly materials.
Indicating the houses floating on the pond, a researcher at the institute, Mohammad Masbah Uddin, said the houses were based on two types of engineering; one is made of filled blocks and other of unfilled blocks.
The institute has so far constructed four houses of this kind.
“Two are kept in our pond. We made another one on the lake inside Ramna Park of the city. That was used as a floating restaurant there. The fourth one was built in Sariatpur district where it has been used for years as a primary school and an emergency shelter in case of floods.”
Director Mohammad Abu Sadeque claimed that HBRI is the pioneer of developing the floating house in the country.
How many people can stay in it?
Researcher Mohammad MasbahUddin said this house hs the capacity to shelter at least 20 people or a full family with all their belongings.
“It has been made experimentally so calculating the exact cost of the house is difficult. Once it is manufactured at the mass level, costs will be reduced. It will cost less than a normal ‘pucca’ building,” said the researcher.
Why don’t you come forward to manufacture it at the mass level?
The director said, “We are just a research institute. But we are going to sign a MoU with the European Union soon about this. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has shown interest in this regard. If things go well, I believe, the project will get a quick boost in no time.”