That’s the vision of University of Waterloo professor Elizabeth English, an architect who has pioneered research into the use of buoyant foundations and floating homes.

The foundations allow a home to rise straight up on guideposts when flood water moves in, float above trouble, and settle back into place when the water recedes.“It’s exactly like putting a floating dock under your house,” explains English, an expert in amphibious architecture and the founder of the Buoyant Foundation Project, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the flood mitigation strategy in places such as Louisiana, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nicaragua and Jamaica.English is now orking with the National Research Council (NRC) to test whether the strategy could work in Canadian flood ones.
The research is part of the NRC’s $42-million Climate Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure Initiative, a program esigned to help communities and builders adapt to the challenges wrought by extreme weather events.With a four-year, $500,000 NRC grant, English is developing two prototypes for use in Canada — one a cottage retrofit and the other a new home build.The prototypes are being designed for First Nations communities that experience frequent spring flooding.
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