People in Germany are slowly inclining towards self-sufficient floating homes, as these are economical residences that offer better off-grid living away from noisy and polluted city life. The Lusatian Lake District (Lausitzer Seenland) is the largest artificial Lake District in Europe with surface area of over 32,000 acres, thus it is considered suitable for such lifestyle. Moreover in the coming years, the way of living on water will help enhance the region’s attractiveness and boost its economy.
With the same objective in mind, Lusatian autartec project has been started by two Fraunhofer Institutes based in Dresden: the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (IVI) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS). These two institutes have partnered with few other medium-size companies such as Technical University of Dresden (TUD) and the Technical University of Brandenburg (BTU) to build a completely self-catering houseboat on Lake Geierswalde by 2017.
The picture shown above is the visual representation of the sustainable houseboat that will be able to fend itself. This means the floating home will be designed in such as way that it could produce its own water, electricity and heat. Constructed on a 13 x 13-meter steel pontoon, the house extends over two levels: one offers 75-square meters of living space on the ground floor, and another consists of 34-square meters on the first floor. The house is a perfect combination of modern architecture and structural engineering, along with all building facilities required for a standard living.
There is also a 15-square-meter terrace area that overlooks the entire lake, providing a relaxing place for the inhabitants while enjoying surrounding views. For its self-sufficient nature, solar cells are integrated into the building with lithium polymer batteries that store the collected solar energy for later use.
Furthermore, a salt hydrate fireplace is used to heat up the living space during cold winter days. A tub filled with water and salt hydrates is placed above the fireplace. When the fireplace is on, the salt hydrates begin to liquefy and absorb heat to offer required thermal energy for the entire house. In summer, adiabatic cooling system uses evaporative humidification technique to cool the interior, unlike conventional air conditioning systems. Plus, this system doesn’t even need electricity for running the entire day.
The Self-catering Houseboat design is a cool idea for the nomads among us. It gives people a wonderful opportunity for sustainable and futuristic living, away from hectic city life.