SAFE Building System

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Also known as the SAFE Foundation System, developed by architect and inventor Greg Henderson and his team at Arx Pax Labs, Inc., is a way to build in flood zones and coastal areas. It is designed to float buildings, roadways, and utilities in a few feet of water.[1] The self-adjusting floating environment draws from existing technologies used to float concrete bridges and runways such as Washington’s SR 520 and Japan’s Mega-Float.[2] It also absorbs the shock of earthquakes, allowing buildings and their related communities to remain stable.[3] Arx Pax is working with Republic of Kiribati and Pacific Rising to solve for sustainable development challenges associated with rising sea levels.[4]

Arx Pax, the company involved in this technology has proposed building a “floating village” project in north San Jose’s Alviso hamlet, deploying a group of pontoons beneath the buildings to protect the development from floods and earthquakes.[5]

Originally developed for earthquakes as an alternative to Base Isolation the floating foundation decouples the structure from the earth with a simple patented method consisting of three parts. According to the patent, "Three part foundation systems can include a containment vessel, which constrains a buffer medium to an area above the containment vessel, and a construction platform. A building can be built on the construction platform. In a particular embodiment, during operation, the construction platform and structures built on the construction platform can float on the buffer medium. In an earthquake, a construction platform floating on a buffer medium may experience greatly reduced shear forces. In a flood, a construction platform floating on a buffer medium can be configured to rise as water levels rise to limit flood damage."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hawkins, Andrew. "This hoverboard startup wants to create floating cities to combat climate change". The Verge. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. ^ Wachs, Audrey. "This company is designing floating buildings to combat climate change disasters". The Architect's Newspaper. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  3. ^ Singer, Isabel (3 November 2017). "Round up: New foundation system, BIM, completed jobs, and European expansion". BuiltWorlds. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  4. ^ McGauley, Joe. "These Ingenious Floating Houses Will Save Us From Rising Sea Levels". Thrillist. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  5. ^ ""Floating village" eyed in San Jose's Alviso area could ward off floods, quakes, rising seas". The Mercury News. 2018-05-24. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  6. ^ 8777519, Henderson, D. Gregory, "United States Patent: 8777519 - Methods and apparatus of building construction resisting earthquake and flood damage", issued July 15, 2014 

See also[edit]