UK-based Carl Turner Architects recently unveiled a novel new home designed to address the issue of flooding and unlock new building space on underused waterways. The firm plans to make the blueprints for Floating House available for free download via the Paperhouses open source architecture project, thus enabling anyone with the means to either construct their own Floating House or hire a professional to build it for them.

In its default configuration, Floating House will rest upon a 20 x 7 m (65 x 22 ft) buoyant concrete hull, and can float atop the water like a non-movable houseboat. In addition, if it is to be located on a flood-plain, the home can also rest atop stilts or on a non-floating flood-resistant thick concrete base.

The design shows the two story home's living quarters contained within a 14 x 5 m (45 x 16 ft) cross-laminated timber frame, with a thick layer of insulation and triple-glazed windows. The interior comprises two bedrooms, a study, a bathroom, living room, and a kitchen. A "crow's nest" observation area is situated on the rooftop/upper deck.

A pair of semi-translucent solar panels measuring a total of 84 sq m (904 sq ft) will be affixed to the exterior of Floating House, and Carl Turner Architects says that these should offer sufficient electricity for the occupants. A rainwater-harvesting tank is situated on the roof too, and would provide a renewable source for most of the home's non-drinkable water requirements, according to the firm.

Floating House is just one of a growing number of designs submitted to the Paperhouses project, which was conceived by architect Joana Pacheco as a means of making top-tier architectural designs available to anyone. The blueprints are not yet available, but the idea is that you find a design on the Paperhouses website that you like, download the plans for free, adapt them if required, and eventually build them – with or without professional help.

As of writing, those who register to the Paperhouses site are promised the plans for Floating House once they become available.

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