Option D: Bouyancy

Option D: Bouyancy 2017-09-15T14:31:57-05:00

Rely on natural buoyancy to lift the Farnsworth House above flood waters during a flooding event

From Investigation of Buoyant Amphibious Foundation System to Mitigate Flood Damage

There are generically two types of buoyant foundations. One is the floating foundation where the structure being supported on the buoyancy system simply floats on top of the water, much like a houseboat. It is always in the water and it depends on having a permanent body of water in which to reside. The other is the amphibious foundation that is comfortable both on dry land and in the water. For purposes of comparison with the Farnsworth House, we will report only on the latter system.

First the house would be temporarily moved to a safe location above the flood plain on the site for the duration of construction. Then an excavation would be made directly under the original location of the house and a concrete pit installed. In this pit buoyancy tanks or blocks (in the following report reference will be made to buoyancy tanks only, with the understanding that this is meant to describe any other buoyancy system as well, including Styrofoam blocks, etc.) would be placed, connected with some sort of steel lattice work and bracing.

Only if an active hydraulic system is paired with the buoyancy scheme will the buoyant system work satisfactorily and once hydraulic components are added (see Option C), there is little sense in the buoyant system. The hydraulic system overall is more reliable, more secure and more easily controlled.