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Puffer Village Proposes Smart Floating Homes That Adapt to the Environment

The solution to the problem of water is water. This might seem like a paradox, but it’s the foundation of a new habitat concept that could very well save coastal communities, including agriculture-centric ones.
Puffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survival 16 photos
Photo: Sajjad Navidi / Amazing Architecture
Puffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survivalPuffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survival
Coastal communities are the hardest-hit when it comes to rising sea water levels, and with climate change, it doesn’t look as if things are about to change for the better. As these communities continue to battle rising tides and furious storms, the solution is not to move farther inland but, as noted above, fight water with water. Not literally, but close enough.

Floating habitats could be a solution to all the climate-related issues coastal communities are facing. Instead of moving people inland, authorities could be building for them better homes, homes that adapt to harsh weather and environmental conditions. This is the kind of home Puffer Village proposes.

City dwellers think of a technology-packed home when they think of a “smart home.” A smart home is one that offers connectivity to smart appliances, reduces energy used, and ultimately makes life easier. For the people of Ganvie, in the Benin region of Africa, a smart home is a home that can read weather conditions and adapt accordingly, saving lives and livelihoods in the process.

Puffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survival
Photo: Sajjad Navidi / Amazing Architecture
According to 3D visualizer and designer Sajjad Navidi, the brains behind the Puffer Village concept, this type of smart floating home would be applicable anywhere else in the world with threatened coastal communities, Amazing Architecture notes. Inspiration for it is found, as the name implies, in the pufferfish, which are able to blow up to fight predators and escape dangerous situations.

Much like the pufferfish, this smart home puffs up either on air or water to survive, depending on what’s threatening it. In rising tides, for instance, it fills with air and floats on top of the water, but during storms, it fills with water, thus becoming heavier to resist damage.

The structure is anchored to the water bed at all times, regardless of the shape it takes. Like the fish it’s based on, the outer layer or the “balloon skin” is inflatable, but when no danger is detected by sensors, the house looks close to regular, with a flat roof and a flat base. There are flexible photovoltaic panels on the roof, and a system to capture and store tidal energy below water level. In short, the structure would be completely self-sustainable, which would make its location on the water ideal.

Navidi created this concept for the African village, so he chose to imagine each home with an aquaponics system on wooden fences, so farmers could continue earning their livelihood as before. Two types of sensors would work together with the house, one for rising water levels and one for water wave detection. The air and water pump are integrated into the structure, so residents would have to do nothing in case either sensor was triggered.

Puffer Village concept proposes smart homes that adapt to the environment to guarantee residents' survival
Photo: Sajjad Navidi / Amazing Architecture
The interior design and layout are inspired by the mating circle created by the male pufferfish, but clearly, the most important thing about this concept is the fact that it would adapt to offer survival chances to those insides.

The idea of floating habitats is not new, so Navidi’s statement that you have to fight water with water isn’t surprising either. In the face of adversity, man’s survival will always depend on his capability to adapt and overcome, and it seems like a home that can ride out the rising tide or withstand powerful storms would be one way of doing it.

That said, this particular idea has not advanced farther than its concept stage. A floating city is planned for 2025, when an Oceanix city will “set sail” in the Busan Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea. When that happens, floating habitats will no longer be a pipe dream.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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