Flooding has always been a problem, but as the climate continues to shift it is likely to occur more frequently with even more disastrous results. We've showcased many practical solutions for emergency housing, but Andrew Maynard and his team have come up a compelling concept - The Airdrop House, which can be dropped from standard military aircraft into flood afflicted areas. As the spherical housing kit hits the water, it begins to soak up water and grows into a food-producing, self-sustaining temporary house. AMA may call it "fiction", but the concept certainly holds water.
The Airdrop House is a complete housing kit made from sponge-like material that starts at 1 meter in diameter. Capable of being carried by a standard military aircraft, the spheres are dropped from the air into the water and weighted so they land right-side up. The spheres are light enough to move around, and as they travel they soak up and filter the polluted flood waters.
Once the houses are set, they begin to take root into the ground and can expand up to 7 meters in diameter – as they dry the spongy material hardens. Seeds are embedded in the foam polymer that begin to bud once they hit the silt rich flood waters, eventually providing shade for the home and a source of food production.
Although the shelters are really only meant to be temporary, the homes can be covered in local materials and reinforced to further improve their durability and weather resistance. The pods can also be used as stores, health clinics and other types of buildings. Ideally, the pods would biodegrade by the time they are no longer needed and become part of a fertile crop bed.
While the airdrop housing kit is a bit fanciful and we may never see this idea come to fruition, Andrew Maynard Architects did incorporate many of the necessary components needed in a good emergency housing solution. If you are concerned about the victims of floods, consider donating to AMA’s favorite charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres, which provides aid through direct local action.