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SarahBell

Grand Designs The Floating House

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Andy and Nicki Bruce decided to buy a riverside plot in May 2013.
They paid a farmer £750 a week to use his field across the Thames as a storage yard so they could chain ferry things across to their site.

Oh and then it rained. :-)

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/grand-designs/on-demand/57386-002

Watched this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it!

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I couldn't understand why they just didn't run a dredger over there ...and cut a dock ...build the " house " in a boatyard , and tow it into position ?

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I expect the novelty of living on an island will wear off after 6 months. Reminds me of when we moved into the wilderness in Ireland, loved it for the first 6 months the realized living in the countryside is not all it's cracked up to be. After moving over 20 times I do find that I get a little bored after 6 months or so.

Plus I wouldn't want to be in that house when it's 6 to 12 foot in the air + how the feck are you going to get up/down the themes in a massive flood?

Bonkers. At least their wealth is tricklig down tot he construction workers eh?

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how the feck are you going to get up/down the themes in a massive flood?

A boat?

I liked the concept of the house however I think it's bound to fail and the money will have been wasted. One of two things will happen:

1) The dolphin/floating mechanism will break and it won't be possible or it will be uneconomical to fix.

2) The basement will eventually break / crack from the stresses of movement and again will be uneconomical to repair.

Still, it's good there are people out there willing to risk this type of thing.

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I enjoyed the program too, but I thought it was an expensive way to solve the problem. I noted that they do a similar thing sucessfully in Holland but not in a sealed tank.

I think that they may have a real problem if the river overtops the rim of the tank and silt gets trapped under the float, it'll take some cleaning out.

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I enjoyed the program too, but I thought it was an expensive way to solve the problem. I noted that they do a similar thing sucessfully in Holland but not in a sealed tank.

I think that they may have a real problem if the river overtops the rim of the tank and silt gets trapped under the float, it'll take some cleaning out.

That was the first thing that I was wondering when the concept was revealed with the flashy 3D graphics. I was expecting them to cover that at some point but it got conveniently left out.

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This seemed an incredibly over engineered way to avoid flood damage to me. Perhaps the basement was worth £300k in extra constructions costs to them?

I would have built an upside down house with all ground floor windows above the historical max flood line together with any full height openings for living areas and balcony sitting on top floor well above the flood water. Then either have a mid height entrance hall and lobby allowing internal access down and up or perhaps just a floating lobby if one really prefers a ground floor entrance in normal conditions.

I cant imagine I would enjoy living there during last winters spate conditions so maybe just a lock up and leave watertight policy is best for these riverside houses

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This seemed an incredibly over engineered way to avoid flood damage to me. Perhaps the basement was worth £300k in extra constructions costs to them?

I would have built an upside down house with all ground floor windows above the historical max flood line together with any full height openings for living areas and balcony sitting on top floor well above the flood water. Then either have a mid height entrance hall and lobby allowing internal access down and up or perhaps just a floating lobby if one really prefers a ground floor entrance in normal conditions.

I cant imagine I would enjoy living there during last winters spate conditions so maybe just a lock up and leave watertight policy is best for these riverside houses

I think the issue was planning permission. I'm guessing the house couldn't have a bigger foot print than the demolished bungalow, and had a height limit (hence why a bungalow could only be built). I did wonder why not just flatten the land and plonk a very nice house looking barge on the island, but it would be a pretty small house.

I think it was an elegant solution, but only feasible where house prices are ridiculously high. The dolphins go pretty high, and if it ever got to that height London would be flooded (I'm guessing anyway)!

One engineering question I would like to be asked is how strong are those dolphins? Imagine an 8foot flood, if it was that high it's going to be fast moving water and a huge amount of pressure to push the house side ways. Ok, the other houses held against a 6foot flood, but those houses are on stilts so a smaller area to push against.

Oh, and to clear the silt from under the basement would probably be quite easy - I dare say they would use the same method as those swimming pool hoovers.

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