“Floating Neighborhood” is a water-based solution for the problem for Holland’s housing needs. This neighborhood floats, freezes, tilts on the water of Lake Eimer. The goal is to “make a circular, resilient, floating neighborhood”. The floating houses have similar architecture to that of the land homes and each house is connected to the floor of Lake Eimer. The building elements of the houses are: wood, plastic and glass. The architecture of the neighborhood is based on water environment and each house have individual water jetties for getting connected with land. Running below the jetties, cables and pipes generate gas, electricity, water, cable, and provide a sewage drainage system for each floating home. The community of the water dwellers have the facility where when one resident is short on electrical power, another neighbor can offer some of theirs if they’ve got any leftover current. The Municipal Authority along with other innovators, planners and architects developed a draft for sustainability master plan for the floating development with maximum priority on sustainability.
The main aim of “Floating Neighborhood” is to build sustainable neighborhood capable of addressing the challenges of an aquatic environment and harness the unique synergies it offers to residents. The neighborhood has adopted many approaches for solving environmental issues and rising sea level.
- Sustainable Solutions: The neighborhood relies on carbon intensive gas heating, well-insulated homes and passive solar heating through designs which make maximum utilization of natural sunlight, along with pumps which harvest warmth from the canal water even in winter. Solar boilers provide hot water, and water-recycling showers are equipped with technologies that recover heat that would otherwise go down the drain.
- Harvesting waste water: The wastewater is transported to a nearby floating biorefinery which recovers nutrients and energy from the organic waste streams. Houses have vacuum toilets which are linked with decentralized sanitation facility and use anaerobic digester for producing energy using biogas, phosphorous and nitrates.
- Usage of Sustainable Building Materials: The neighborhood uses sustainable building materials only which are light in weight and buoyant (bamboo is mostly preferred). The neighborhood has a community center which serves as a hub of neighborhood wide sustainability initiatives.
- Smart Microgrid on Water: With the help of smart microgrid system on water, the residents have special permission that provides them the ownership of their own grid as well as energy sourcing and billing. Each house as installed large solar PV array and heat which with battery storage systems. The households have connections with energy management system which intelligently coordinates supply and demand of power within the community and allows the residents to trade energy with each other.
- Replicable Blueprint for Green Building: The homes have green roofs where the residents can grow foods and plants. They can also collect rainwater and use it for different purposes. The rainwater can also be used for flushing the ultra-efficient toilets. The homes have solar hot water collector which connects to fixtures like recirculating shower, which cleans water in a water loop and saves both water and energy.