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Eco-friendly aquatic homes can save millions from annual floods

By Adriana Stuijt     Mar 6, 2009 in Environment
Two Dutch engineers have just introduced a unique design for living in waterlogged environments: an inexpensive, double-story amphibian home called the 'eco-igloo'. The igloo has 21 solar screens, can float and takes only seven days to build.
The copy-right registered design needs very little real-estate investment when compared to other homes -- as it floats along the water's edge on a large concrete platform. I viewed show models today at at the House and Garden expo in nearby Leeuwarden here in Friesland. It was difficult to get through the crowds...
The eco-igloo is built on floating concrete platforms along the water's edge -- ideal for the Dutch waterlogged environment.
Judging from the enthusiastic crowd today, this house will be a best-seller here in my province anyway. There are two main reasons for it: Friesland's provincial administration has just announced this week that they will no longer allow any new ' eco-unfriendly ' houses to be built in the province after 2012; and the actual amount of real estate one needs to pay for to built your eco-igloo on, is far less. It also only takes seven days to build: ideal for communities which have just been flooded and need urgent new housing for many residents. New Orleans springs immediately to mind...
Its 21 solar-panels are built on a 'dynamic screen' which tracks the sun throughout the day from east to west, exactly as do sunflowers. The sun-tracking screen was designed by industrial engineers Kees de Kraker and Jacques Mattheij through the company IntactEcoDesign, located in Diemen in The Netherlands.
The eco-igloo is completely 'energy-neutral' and the amphibian design is adaptable for homes as well as businesses, the company's designer/owners, Kees De Kraker and Ms Willy Brinksma say.
The eco-igloo design itself still will have to obtain formal approval from local municipalities. Last month, the designers made their first formal presentation for design-approval to one of the most 'aquatic' regions in the Netherlands, the Wymbritseradiel region in Friesland. The presentation was 'well-received', they said. see
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