Floating House that can withstand Floods
Gopalakrishnan Achari’s 1300 sq.ft house is constructed without using any stones, bricks or cement, which can float above water level during floods.
Non-stop rains, floods and landslides damage certain areas of Kerala every monsoon, while people, who have spent massive amounts building their houses, helplessly witness the critical damages.
In expectation of these severe weather conditions, many have planned to innovative construction techniques or design structures to reduce the damage. P Gopalakrishnan Achari is one such person, a resident of Vazhappilly, Ernakulam, Kerala.
His design allows the house to float above the floodwaters when the water level rises during floods. Initially, it was not meant to be a flood-resistant house.
Talking to media, Achari describes, “For the past several years, the building sector in Kerala has been meeting a tough time in getting rock, metal and sand. So, there was a necessity to look for other construction materials that are affordable and eco-friendly. First, I built a model house using multi-wood sheets and steel pipe. I built the house in 2017, it took me approximately five years, but in the next year floods hit this area. Then I redesigned the house to withstand in a potential flood condition.”
He installed many air tanks in the foundation of the house which supports the house to rise when the water level increases during flood time and to avoid the floating house from being swept away by the floodwaters, he has placed four steel pistons in four corners within the walls so that the house will not move an inch to any side. These steel pistons are not visible from the interior or exterior the house and are dug in 25 feet into the earth and can extend up to 15 feet above the earth, and therefore the house can safely float or move up to 10 feet. The height of these steel pistons can be changed to any level, but the length and strength of the piston should be increased proportionately. During the flood time, the house will move up along with the air tanks with the support of the steel pistons and stand still above the water on the inner rods of these pistons and when the water level decreases, it will automatically come back to the normal level, says Achari.
The entire house is made of GI pipe. He hasn’t used rocks, metals, sand, cement, tiles or wood. The walls are made of multiwood sheet on both sides with an air gap of 1.5 inches between those sheets which help bring down the temperature in the house. The basement is also covered with multiwood sheets so that the air tanks will not be visible from outside. And for roofing, any material can be used.
The house will cost around Rs.1,600 per sq.ft if a good quality GI pipe is used.
It took him 4 months to build this 1,300 sq.ft house. The construction needs only skilled workers for welding, carpentry and plumbing. Here 4 welding labours worked throughout the construction period, while 4 carpenters also worked for a few days, before starting electric wiring and plumbing works.
He says “The floating house can be constructed on any type of soil and I have also planned a model house which will help people living in low lying areas like Kuttanad, where water-logging and floods are part of their daily life. It is an ‘extra height house,’ which again stands on multiple pistons”.
Recognition & Awards
P Gopalakrishnan Achari received an award from Vishwakarma Kala Sahitya Sangam.
More than 500 people have visited his house to see and learn about this construction technology after many videos of his house became viral on the internet. Those visitors include civil engineers, architects, students and other peoples from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
He Says… “I have given complete information to all who came to visit my house and saw that some people have started constructing houses using this method. I feel happy that my experiment has become helpful to many people, and I am also happy to share details with all who are interested.”
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By Editor @ realestatefinder.in
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