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INHABITAT INTERVIEW: Waterstudio’s Koen Olthuis on FLOAT!
Q. What is the largest or tallest building you believe can be constructed as a floating structure?
A. I believe technically we can build even beyond imagination, but making a feasible structure on water you have to mirror with offshore technology. Floating oil rigs that are 100 meters high and cruise ships that are 700 meters long show the possibilities for floating structures; we only have to add new functions and respect needed comfort targets for living on water.
Q. Tell us about buoyant concrete — when do you see it becoming available?
In 5 years time I foresee the product ready for large-scale projects on water. You can pour this concrete in any shape and it weighs less than water (400 kilograms per meter cubed). We are waiting for the right strength, which has to be developed by using different kinds of strengthening fibres in the aerated concrete. When more water-based building developments start to happen the innovation behind these kinds of material solutions will take off rapidly.
Q. Are there are any floating projects currently built that are completely off-grid, powered by renewable energy and self-sufficient?
A. There are ecocities on water on the drawing board now for China and the Maldives. The urge for sustainable urban solutions is very high, and water provides new ways of providing energy. It is logical that this will be used for off-grid urban communities on water, in or outside the city.
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