Whatever Floats Your House
Netherlands Prepares for Climate Change with Amphibious Homes
Builders in the low-lying Netherlands have always used ingenious means to keep the water out: If not for a series of dikes and canals, some half of the country would be under water. But now, with climate-change scientists predicting rising sea levels and more frequent severe storms, the Dutch are preparing for a wetter future. In one village, they are building a series of floating amphibious homes. These are not houseboats, but normal homes made of lightweight wood on solid ground. But instead of being anchored to the ground, they rest on hollow, buoyant foundations, so when the water rises, so do the homes. Builders hope that, in addition to insuring homeowners against floods, the new houses can increase the overall habitable land in Europe’s most densely populated country.