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Monday, July 4, 2011

NIM - Sustainable House Boat

Photo:  3 Buoys
In honour of the Independence Day celebrations being held by our neighbours to the south, today's New Idea Monday features something summery.  Nothing quite as summery as living on the water!

Growing up in British Columbia, whenever somebody mentions the word "houseboat", I immediately conjure up images of these fibreglass beasts on Shuswap Lake. I don't dislike houseboats.  On the contrary.  I think it's a perfectly great way to live.  In fact any major urban centre that has a large body of water as part of its urban core will also likely have a collection of houseboats.

The challenge with living on the water is how to minimize the impact you have on the environment.  You can't pack 10 people into a vacation home and  not think that they won't be creating waste.  The concern is even greater for a year-round situation.

Photo
The U-Boat is a concept created by designer Wyatt Little which explores the idea of living on the water while paying very close attention to the impact that this living situation has on the environment.

Electricity is handled through solar cells, and sewage is incinerated rather than dumped into the watery depths.  The temperature inside the U-Boat is regulated through a geothermal pond loop which runs from the bottom of the water source through a piling supporting the dock and into the floor of the boat.

Photo
Strangely, water is a big issue when living on the water.  Or more to the point, drinking water is an issue.  The U-Boat would utilize rain water as its source of drinking water, while using other sources for grey water ... water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

The U-Boat features a living roof, along with the solar panels.  It linear shape may be seen as less interesting than other forms of water living, I find it quite pleasing.  After all, it's the surroundings of a houseboat that will garner the most attention anyway. Keeping the shape simple also allows the interior to be used to maximum efficiency.

Source:  Wyatt Little

2 comments:

  1. I agree that the linear design is very pleasing to the eye. This house boat is far nicer than the ones I typically see floating around the gulf. I do wonder about the name a sustainable self supporting house boat sharing the name of German submarines from WWI and WWII seems odd.

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  2. I thought the same thing about the name! I guess we're a few generations away from that for some folk. Perhaps it comes with torpedoes?

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