The alarming pace of rising sea levels has inspired designers Zhou Ying and Niu Yuntao to create a floating emergency shelter that could save lives during floods and tsunamis. Instead of conventional exposed life rafts, survivors can use the Duckweed Survival House as an enclosed floating shelter that protects people from large waves while trying to get to safety.


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The design, which won the 2015 Red Dot Award, is meant to remain upright regardless of the surface it’s on. It can be quickly inflated thanks to a built-in high-pressure carbon dioxide gas chamber. Fresh air enters the inside via an air vent on the roof of the structure. An underwater stem, containing the gas tank at its base, offers a stabilizing function and also a filtration function. A reverse osmosis film near the base of the stem admits and converts sea water to fresh drinking water, which the passengers can access through an inlet in the floor.

Related: NASA predicts a dangerous sudden rise in sea levels

The individual shelters can be clustered together in order to increase stability, visibility and resistance to large waves and strong winds. Thanks to fluorescent markers, rescuers can easily locate the structures at night.

+ The Duckweed Survival House

Via Yanko Design