The UK (and I’m sure many other countries) is facing the problem of having areas of land that can’t be developed for housing because they are in a flood prone area. However, the proposed Elevating House could solve this problem. It is basically a house that can be raised on stilts when a flood comes. Sounds simple enough.
Elevating House was designed by the company Larkfleet Group. It is a three-bedroom family home and its design is very similar to other homes found across the UK. But what sets it apart drastically is the mechanical jacking system, which allows it to be raised 5 ft (1.5 m) off the ground. The system is comprised of a motor, a gearbox, and drive shafts, and is capable of lifting 72 tons (65 UK tonnes) in just 5 minutes. The home will also feature a modular steel-frame design, making it easy to disassemble and reassemble elsewhere atop a traditional foundation.
For safety reasons, the occupants of the house could not live in it while it is in the raised position. They’d need to wait for the floodwaters to recede so that the house could safely be lowered again before returning to it. Prior to lowering the house again, the ground beneath it would need to be cleared, of course. The danger that a severe flood would damage the lifting mechanism is also present.
Elevating House would also be fitted with a rooftop mounted solar panel array and battery system, so that it would have power even while in an elevated position. An alternative energy source is a must for a home like this, since there would be a risk of damaging the power cords. However, the water and sewage connections would be made of flexible hoses, allowing for a traditional setup.
The first Elevating House could be built in early 2017 if the proposal is accepted. After that, they will first spend five years testing its performance to make sure everything is working according to plan.