The renowned yacht designer Christian Grande – Picchio Boat, Sanlorenzo and Sacs Marineribs – launches AbiFloat: a new concept of floating villas modular and eco-friendly.
The proposal elaborates on the creation of floating housing units, to be built in modular chains of constructive and compositional elements for the housing envelope. New conceptions of living close to nature and modular housing are the distinctive elements, characterized by attention to detail, personalization of external and internal habitats and the possibilities given by modular construction: from single one-room units to villages articulated on several levels.
The key element is the total standardization of structural elements, systems and finishing, with the sole exclusion of aesthetic variations or later functional personalization. The project specifications are articulated by means of simple dependable systems: buoyancy reserves, sandwich technology for walls using recycled plastic and honeycombed baffles in straw, cork or particleboard, the latter to guarantee thermal insulation and light weight. Other exterior finishing materials are also contemplated, adaptable to different contexts and uses. For example: exterior coverings made in wide teak planks with aluminum details, roofing in PV panels or corrugated sheet. Sizes and finishing are therefore available for the different possible uses: housing, recreation, guest accommodations or commercial uses. The load bearing structures are tested for up to two horizontal levels and composed of stringers and posts in aluminum, with the possibility to flexibly host electrics and climate controls by means of a system of standardized joinery. Flooring is also conceived to host electrical and plumbing systems, with hollow sections to guarantee thermal and acoustic insulation.
The primary structures for the system are floating 6.5 meter by 3.25 meter modules, designed as modular reference points for the installation of the various superstructures. Stability is guaranteed by the shape of the floating elements and by the possibility to use the modules as housing for both electrical and plumbing systems, but even larger systems such as pumps, compressors, waste holding tanks. The housing element is designed to be enlarged vertically up to two floors. The distributive system and walkways are created by means of special dock and gangway modules, railings and small bridges, all derived from the base modules. These allow the creation of guest accommodations, vacation villages or dynamic commercial centers, all with the possibility to expand, while respecting the environment and the landscape.
A further innovation is the possibility to modify the housing agglomerate in the future by changing the size, varying the layout or substituting exterior finishing. Modifications would be relatively simple and inexpensive. The possibilities are noteworthy, and would allow an equilibrated urbanization of the marine environment, with sustainable and non-intrusive operations that are also removable (the system has been designed to be towed on land with a trailer) and even self-propelled, by equipping the base modules with electric outboard motors and thrusters attached to the linking elements.